Thank you for your interest in the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP), a training program for those who are enthusiastic about learning science-based ecosystem management principles and sharing this knowledge with others to help improve Michigan communities. Through participation in this program, you will learn essential strategies to help restore and conserve ecosystems in Washtenaw County and throughout Michigan.

Becoming a Conservation Steward involves the completion of the following: 1. Classroom and field-based training led by experts in various fields of conservation and natural resources, including lectures, interactive learning and field experiences; 2. Self-paced online learning modules provided via Michigan State University's D2L course management interface which participants will complete on their own time; and 3. Volunteer service in the form of an in-class Capstone (applied) Project as well as additional community volunteer service related to restoring and conserving Michigan’s ecosystems.

Program Planners for the Washtenaw Conservation Stewards Program include Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Huron River Watershed Council, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office, Michigan Nature Association, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, City of Ann Arbor Natural Areas Preservation, Washtenaw County Conservation District, and Legacy Land Conservancy.

Instruction is provided by Michigan Natural Features Inventory, University of Michigan, Michigan State University Extension, and a variety of local experts.

The first class will be held at:

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Auditorium
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-647-7600
Directions available at: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/plan/hours.asp
Parking information available at: https://mbgna.umich.edu/visit/parking-and-conservatory-admission-at-matthaei/

Throughout the course, you will be visiting many ecologically diverse locations that highlight the natural ecosystems of the greater Washtenaw County area. 

The 2019 CSP Washtenaw Winter/Spring Session consists of approximately 40 hours of instruction:

  • Seven in-person sessions (21 hours of instruction) will be held on WEDNESDAY EVENINGS from 6 - 9 p.m. (locations subject to change):
    • September 4: Program Introduction- University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
    • September 11: Ecological Foundations
    • September 18: Terrestrial Ecosystems (Oak emphasis)
    • October 2: Terrestrial Ecosystems (Maple emphasis)
    • October 16: Aquatic Ecosystems (Wetlands emphasis)
    • October 30: Aquatic Ecosystems (Streams emphasis)
    • November 13: Capstone Projects & Commencement
  • Two FULL-DAY FIELD SESSIONS (14 hours of instruction) will be held on SATURDAYS from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.):
    • October 5: Terrestrial Field Experience (Woodland/Grassland focus) - Hudson Mills Metropark
    • October 26: Aquatic Field Experience (Lakes/Wetlands focus) - Independence Lake County Park
  • Five SELF-PACED ONLINE LEARNING MODULES (approximately 10 hours of self-paced material) will cover the following content:
    • Michigan's Unique Conservation Heritage & Making Choices for Natural Resources Management
    • Ecological Foundations
    • Forestand Ecosystems and Management
    • Lake and Wetland Ecosystems & Management

To become a Michigan Conservation Steward, participants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attend all classes (indoor and outdoor field experiences) and complete online learning modules
  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer conservation service within one year (including hours spent on in-class Capstone Project)
  • Comply with the MSU Extension Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct.

To maintain status, Michigan Conservation Stewards must complete the following annually:

  • 20 hours of volunteer conservation service on approved projects
  • 8 hours of advanced training
  • Comply with the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program Manual of Policies and Procedures and the Conservation Stewards Program Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct

Program Registration Fee: $250. Last date to register is Aug. 20, 2019. A full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee will be assessed to those requesting a refund on or after Aug. 20, 2019 and up to seven business days prior to the start of class. No refunds will be issued six or less days prior to the start of class. Partial financial aid may be available. Please see "Scholarships" section below.

For complete program details please visit the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program page.

Download Event Flyer

Registration for Conservation Stewards Program - Washtenaw is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 20, 2019.

Registration for Conservation Stewards Program Scholarship Request - Washtenaw is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 20, 2019.

Accommodations

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For questions about the program, contact Washtenaw Coordinator, Katie Carlisle (carlislec@washtenaw.org or 734-971-6337 ext. 334) or the MSU Extension CSP Coordinator, Bindu Bhakta (bhaktabi@msu.edu or 248-858-5198).

For questions or difficulties regarding registering for the program, please contact MSU Extension Oakland County Support staff person, Cathy Morris (248-858-1639 or morrisc@oakgov.com).