The Stewardship Network is a collection of organizations, government agencies, non-profits, for-profits, and individuals who work to protect, restore, and manage natural areas. The network pools resources, expertise, and energy to help all members succeed in their endeavors.
TSN is based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan and serves mostly the Great Lakes Region. Their publications describe their efforts as “for nearly two decades The Stewardship Network has been defining, refining, and advancing the methods on which successful, community-based conservation collaboratives are built.”
One of their most prominent vehicles to do this is their annual two-day conference in East Lansing, “The Science, Practice, and Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems.” Always in the heart of January and winter, this year’s was January 12-13.
BHM has sent a team to the conference since conferences began about a decade ago, as we continue to seek information, new ideas and techniques, and kindred relationships in the field of native land restoration and care. This year, Executive Director Nathan Simons and Blue Crew members Phillip Bieberich, John Brittenham, Josh Hall, Gary Woppelhurst, and Fred Wooley attended the conference.
Each day featured a keynote speaker followed by four sets of seven concurrent sessions. Programs are conducted by fellow fieldworkers and students and professors from academia. A strong theme running through the 2018 conference was Native American interests and projects on tribal and public grounds. Conference programs ran the gamut of addressing regional ecosystem needs to practices on homeowner and landscape gardens.
As with all conferences of this nature, each set of sessions had two or more of interest for each of us attending. We selected those of personal interest and found that we attended different sessions giving us a broader spectrum of the best practices we can bring back to our work with Blue Heron Ministries.