Stewardshops are a novel learning experience designed to involve participants in stewardship and ecological restoration at a practical level.
Since about ⅓ of the Sourland region is privately owned, backyard stewardship is essential to support the ecosystem. We work to encourage private landowners to engage in backyard stewardship – planting native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants to help support the Sourland forest’s plants and animals – many threatened and endangered.
One of the educational tools we provide is an informal gathering on a member’s property to answer participants’ questions, and share our group’s experiences of what has worked – and what hasn’t – on our own property to help the landowner achieve his or her goals.
Stewardship means caring for something like our natural resources.
It’s important for humans to care for the meadows, wetland and forest because it takes care of us in so many ways. In addition to providing clean water and air – and sequestering carbon, the forest provides important habitat for migrating birds, amphibians and other animals that perform important ecosystem services like insect control.