It takes a special kind of dedication to become a Woodland Steward. But there are special rewards, too. Stewards have the opportunity to help woodlands in a meaningful, hands-on way. They can participate in a variety of meaningful projects, meet like-minded people who share a concern for natural areas, and enjoy opportunities to learn in the field from Arboretum experts.
Woodland Stewards are volunteers who have been trained to help keep woodlands and other natural communities healthy. They learn about natural systems so that they can work independently under the guidance of a natural areas manager. They are required to become Arboretum volunteers, but their training qualifies them to help in other local preserves too.
They scout for and control invasive species; collect seeds from native plants and plant native seedlings; and lead volunteer work groups or education programs in restoration projects.
Stewards need the commitment to complete training and devote time to the work; the physical ability to walk, bend, lift, and pull; and a cooperative attitude. But they don’t need any previous knowledge or experience.
They will learn through the program. Over the course of a year, they will take 60 hours of classes in conservation and management of woodlands, prairies, and wetlands; attend classes in first aid and CPR training; and learn about identifying and monitoring local plants and animals. To remain Woodland Stewards, each year they must do 30 hours of volunteer work and take six hours of additional training.
To see a video on the Woodland Stewardship program and learn more about the program requirements, click here.
The Woodland Stewards program is generously supported in part by REI.