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What is the cycle of stewardship?

September 6, 2023

What makes an environmental project special?

Being a steward of land and water often means doing work on the ground. When we start an environmental project in our communities, we do the work for the health of the community, the land and ecosystem in the area, and ourselves. The purpose of conservation is to make sure that our natural systems, which support resources and life itself, are healthy and thriving. We don’t only think about our generation but the many that come behind us. When conservation work is done successfully, the impacts may last for years. The ecosystem will be improved for generations and may even continue to regenerate itself (regeneration is when something keeps supporting itself like a cycle). We want our projects to be regenerative, so let’s break our cycle down into four parts known as ACES.

ACES

  1. A- Assets available. Determine what the assets are that people rely on. Assets are anything that bring value instead of costing value. It can be land, water, good views, historic sites or strong relationships. Some land has agricultural assets like crops or cattle.
  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’re good at and how you can bring it to the project. Remember that collectively we are more influential.
  3. E-Empowering the people. Creating and designing is one way we start when determining the right work for an issue. When we involve others in designing a process we empower each other. When we work as a team, we get more done in less time.
  4. S- Story telling. Sharing your experience, findings and data is a process that starts at the beginning of your cycle and also wraps up your work. Sharing what we need and why we make the decisions we make from the very beginning is important 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’s why we create presentations and gather the community for celebrations of our hard work.