LAND STEWARDSHIP VOLUNTEERS
Highly motivated volunteers participate in the management and restoration of District-owned and managed natural areas. Stewardship volunteers are trained extensively in land stewardship techniques and concepts, and help to restore and maintain ecologically significant open land.
A higher level of standardized training is required for Stewards due to the importance of the resources managed and the high public profile of stewardship activities. A volunteer should have a basic knowledge of ecology and enthusiasm for the environment.
Stewardship volunteers help to provide habitat for wildlife, protect native plants from invasive species, enlighten citizens about the environment, and share the company of knowledgeable and other motivated stewardship volunteers and professional staff.
Habitat Restoration Days
Much of the restoration work accomplished by Stewards occurs at public Habitat Restoration Days. Volunteers who are considering entering the Stewardship Program are encouraged to attend several sessions to meet District Site Stewards and get hands-on restoration experience.
View the list of regularly-scheduled Habitat Restoration Days.
For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (815) 338-6223 x 1229 or email Volunteers@MCCDistrict.org
VOLUNTEER SITE STEWARD or CO-STEWARD
Minimum age: Site Steward 21; Co-Steward 18
Qualifications: A registered District volunteer; comply with all District safety rules; be physically capable of carrying out the duties, including working outdoors in various weather conditions, bending, lifting and the ability to walk over uneven ground off trail. Stewards should possess the ability to convey ecological topics to the public and represent the Conservation District in a positive manner.
Experience: Successful completion of the Stewardship training program and approval by the NRM Manager. Some requirements may be waived for volunteers with prior stewardship experience or education.
Training: Volunteers become knowledgeable in the theory and practice of conservation and habitat restoration by completing 24 hours of supervised field work and seven workshops offered through the Ecological Restoration Certificate Program (ERCP). Training usually takes a minimum of one year, depending upon the experience level of the candidate and the ERCP schedule.
Time commitment: Site Stewardship is a long-term volunteer commitment due to the extensive training program and the level of responsibility. Site Steward contribute 5 to 15 hours per month and attend two annual meetings.
Stewards who have completed the training program may request assignment to a District site where they lead the volunteer restoration efforts and host their own habitat restoration days.
Minimum age: 18
Qualifications: see Site Steward
Experience required: see Site Steward
Training: see Site Steward
Stewards who complete the Stewardship training requirements may choose not to be assigned to a specific site, but will assist Site Stewards at Restoration Days.