As the California Landscape Stewardship Network grows and matures, one of the most important sets of decisions to make involves how we sustain capacity to meet our desired outcomes and continue innovating around collaborative solutions. Like many other networks, we’ve recognized since our emergence in 2016 that allowing CLSN to pursue its vision would require behind-the-scenes support from like-minded friends.
Facilitating a network of networks at this scale requires extensive administrative effort. Having a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor on our side with a knack for systems and process lets us focus on the mission instead of organizational plumbing like operational infrastructure, insurance forms, or contracting. For years, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy served this role, for which we're immensely grateful. In time, we became aware of a national organization from the Great Lakes region whose mission, aptitudes, and people resonated with our needs as a landscape-scale network. This is how we became involved with Lisa Brush and her dedicated team at The Stewardship Network (TSN), a group whose name and personnel you’re likely to see more of across CLSN spaces in the future.
How does this change things? For nearly all CLSN activities, it simply does not -- and that’s the point! With TSN providing backbone support, we can better remain focused on the issues that bring us all together and keep us connected. Most of the time, you won’t know what’s changed, but TSN has already done a great deal to keep us moving: managing our email infrastructure, powering our webinars, and serving as our official fiduciary since late last year. There’s more to do here as our systems continue to integrate, but so far, it’s been a major effort on the TSN side with strong results for us.
In the long run, of course, the possibilities for more grand collaborations are thrilling to imagine. The Stewardship Network has over twenty years of experience doing the kind of collaborative stewardship we practice here, with twenty (largely midwestern) Member Communities full of environmental stewards eager to engage.
If you have questions about any of this, please reach out to Devin at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions for The Stewardship Network staff, Lisa and her team are always available to you via their Contact page.
Devin Landry, Coordinator &
The California Landscape Stewardship Network Steering Committee