The Conservation Stewards Program is coming to the capitol area!

Enroll this fall to become a Conservation Steward and make a difference in your own community.

CSP enables volunteers to help resource professionals on a variety of natural resource projects.
CSP enables volunteers to help resource professionals on a variety of natural resource projects. Photo by Georgia Peterson, Michigan State University Extension.

Most descriptions about Michigan, from welcome center brochures to Pure Michigan advertisements, feature the state's rich mix of natural assets. Features like our 20 million acres of forested land, over 3,000 miles of Greats Lakes Shoreline, and 11,000 inland lakes are all sources of recreational enjoyment and critical environmental health. Many times, we imagine most of these benefits exist "up north," but residents of southern Michigan also rely on plenty natural wonders in their own communities. 

With the privilege of enjoying these resources comes responsibility, through conservation practices in our own backyards, neighborhoods, parks, and other green spaces. No one needs to be an "expert" to build the skills needed to help keep our natural features healthy and sustainable. Michigan State University (MSU) Extension's Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is currently offering an opportunity to lean the basics of conservation practices and how to get started as an engaged volunteer. Conservation Stewards are volunteers who help protect and restore Michigan's natural areas and ecosystem through different efforts, such as removing invasive species, building trails, or working with professional naturalists, biologists, or other land managers on public lands. 

This program will be offered in the capital (Lansing) area this coming fall. The Capital Area CSP offers a combination of classroom and field experiences on ecology, conservation heritage, grassland, wetland and forest ecosystems. Classes are offered during select Tuesday nights between Sept. 10 and Nov. 5, 2019, along with two Saturday field days in October. Participants complete additional coursework online and pursue a hands-on capstone project (assistance will be provided in finding projects that math in individual's interests). 

Professional level instruction is provided by MSU Extension, Michigan Natural Features InventoryMichigan Department of Natural Resources and local conservation organizations. Sessions are offered in a variety of locations which highlight local natural areas. Registration fee is $250. Scholarships are available based on demonstrated financial need. Deadline to register is Aug. 23, 2019. 

MSU Extension's CSP page lists complete program and registration details for the capitol area program. 


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