Monday, August 1, 2011

Archives of CMWA webcasts available online

Archives of the webcasts co-hosted by The Midwest Invasive Plant Network and the Stewardship Network are now available, and free to view! If you weren't able to tune in for the live broadcasts, or you'd like to review what you learned when you did, please make use of these recordings and share them with colleagues. The topics and links are listed below.

Public Relations and Outreach for Collaborative Invasive Species Management Projects
Presented: Tuesday, July 26, 11:00 AM Eastern/10:00 AM Central
Click here to view the archive!

Communicating about your work is an essential component of any invasive species collaboration. We will discuss why PR and outreach are important for invasive species programs, how to engage partners in collaborative projects, and how to successfully share information with the general public.

Chris Evans, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area
Chris Evans is the coordinator of the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, a multi-agency partnership to manage invasive plants in Southern Illinois. Through this position he works on public education and outreach projects, facilitating management activities between agencies, and developing an early detection and rapid response system for new invasive species. Chris has a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Biology from Murray State University and a Master's Degree in Forest Biology from Iowa State University.

Melanie Manion, Ottawa County (Michigan) Parks Department
Melanie Manion is the Natural Resources Manager for Ottawa County Parks in Michigan. She is responsible for the stewardship and restoration of over 6000 acres of park and open space land, in addition to the development of a comprehensive volunteer program. Previously, Manion worked for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan and Blandford Nature Center. She has a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science and a M.S. in Conservation Biology from Central Michigan University. She is also a proud new mother of a baby girl, Alison Mae.


Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers for Invasive Plant Projects
Presented: Monday, June 27, 11:00 AM Eastern/10:00 Central
Click here to view the archive!

Volunteer stewardship workdays are a key facet of restoring the health and beauty of our natural areas, and the success of those workdays depends on the stewardship volunteers and organizers. During this presentation you will learn a variety of strategies for volunteer recruitment, tools for keeping volunteers engaged and happy, and ideas for encouraging them to come back.

Jason Frenzel, Stewardship Coordinator for the Huron River Watershed Council
He tries his best to help people help the world. He does this through work (paid and volunteer, of course) at the Huron River Watershed Council, HomeGrown Festival, the Stewardship Network, his families and home, and any friend he meets along the way. Jason received his BS from Michigan State University. He has gained much experience working with the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioners' Office, Road Commission, and Conservation District. He has volunteered with W.R.A.P., Trillium, Moms', and anyone who asks. His favorite quote: "Decisions are made by those who show up." Lesson= Get involved!

Laurel Malvitz-Draper, Resource Steward for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources State Park Stewardship Unit
Laurel has worked in the ecological restoration and volunteer coordinating fields for the past nine years in Michigan. She started a volunteer steward program for the Michigan State Parks Stewardship Unit in the fall of 2005 and has been coordinating and growing that volunteer program for select state parks in southern Michigan since. Her foundation for working with volunteers started with an internship with The Nature Conservancy and flourished in a position with the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation. She works hard to create a good place for people to volunteer, provide quality volunteer experiences, and educate volunteers and park staff on the importance of nature and ecological restoration. She has a B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and a Certificate in Volunteer Engagement and Leadership from Portland State University’s Extended Campus Program. When she’s not working she enjoys pulling invasives from a county-owned prairie near her house as a volunteer, maintaining and adding diversity to her native plant landscape at home, and talking to friends and neighbors about plants and nature.

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