New Stewardship Group Creating Formal Space for Organizations to Collaborate

Seven members of the Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus stand in a forest.

Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus members tour the French Creek Estuary to discuss the development of a water monitoring project. Photo courtesy of the Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus.

August 5, 2021 - 10:00am

The Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus, which includes a VIU research institute, will enhance opportunities to connect and share resources.

A newly formed stewardship group is allowing environmental organizations in the mid-Island region to connect, collaborate, and share resources and expertise.

The group – the Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus (MISC) – was initiated by the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) and the Hamilton Marsh Committee. The ten founding organizations include VIU’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) and the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR). 

Paul Chapman, NALT Executive Director, says the idea for MISC was sparked during the Parksville 2019 Water Stewardship Symposium. He says many organizations have worked together on various projects over the years, but the caucus gives a formal space and structure to have discussions. 

“The reason we started up was for connectivity, so we know what is going on everywhere. The second reason was to leverage our assets,” says Ceri Peacey, Chair of the Hamilton Marsh Committee.

The caucus will allow members to come together and discuss stewardship activities and initiatives, ensure they aren’t duplicating efforts, identify gaps and support each other to achieve their goals.

“We can implement projects as a whole instead of having three groups doing the same things,” says Mandy Hobkirk, VIU’s MABR Coordinator. “It is a way for us to ensure we are doing our best work, collaborate where possible, and use various resources and the strengths of organizations to meet our goals collaboratively and effectively.”

MABRRI will contribute mapping expertise, research experience and support with funding applications. Starting this fall VIU students will also get a chance to work with and support MISC groups to build capacity and assist them with various tasks. The research institute is also putting together a list of equipment owned by the various organizations that can be borrowed by caucus members for various projects.

“This will help ensure that every dollar of funding is used in the most impactful way, and less is needed to purchase equipment that may only be used a few times,” says Hobkirk.

As MABR’s Coordinator, Hobkirk is also supporting the groups by contributing resources, connections and support. MABR’s enewsletter, released every two months, has grown thanks to contributions from MISC groups. The enewsletter highlights events, opportunities for collaboration, calls for participation, citizen science opportunities and crowdfunding ideas.

Organizations interested in applying to become part of MISC can email Hobkirk at Mandy.Hobkirk@viu.ca.

“We’re still in the process of identifying organizations that may want to join the conversation. There’s a myriad of things going on around stewardship restoration activities and there’s also some longer-term thoughts about securing land for conservation,” says Chapman. 

-30-

Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373 l E: Rachel.Stern@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews

Mid-Island Stewardship Caucus Members

  • Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT),
  • Hamilton Marsh Committee,
  • Save Estuary Land Society,
  • Arrowsmith Naturalists,
  • Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers,
  • Friends of French Creek Conservation Society,
  • Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society,
  • Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR),
  • Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI),
  • BroomBusters.

Tags: MABRRI | In the Community