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The Cycle of Watershed Stewardship

February 14, 2023

Watershed Stewardship- getting boots on the ground

When we start an environmental project, we do the work for the health of the community, the ecosystem, and our future. The purpose of conservation is to restore and protect our natural resources by making sure that the natural systems that support those resources are healthy and thriving. We think about the many generations that come after us. When ecosystems are restored and conserved the effects may last for years. If the project is very effective, the ecosystem will be improved for generations and regenerate on its own.

**Regeneration is when something reforms or regrows without the support of an outside force.

Let’s break our cycle down into 4 parts:

ACES

  1. A- Assets available: Determine what assets exist related to the environment and land stewardship. These may include land, water, good views, responsibly-managed agriculture, or strong relationships.
  2. C- Community involvement: Get to know your community. Who does what in yours? Everyone has the potential to provide something unique and valuable. Think about something you and your team can bring to the table. Remember that collectively we are more influential.
  3. E-Empowering the people: Creating and designing is one way we start when determining the right project to address an issue. The next step is getting the work done. When we involve others in these processes, we empower each other. When we work as a team, we work collectively to get more done.
  4. S- Story telling: Sharing your projects, results and data is important. Using storytelling is often more effective than just presenting data. Sharing your project is a step that starts at the beginning of your cycle, through activities like data-gathering and journaling, and also is a final step to your work. We should share what we need and why we make decisions from the very beginning so that everyone is knowledgeable and informed. When we have finished with our research, design and work, we come together again to inform everyone of what has happened or needs to happen in the future – that is why we create presentations and gather the community for celebrations of our hard work and newly implemented projects.