Above: Gail Page, The Nature Conservancy N.H. state director Mark Zankel, Eric and David Worthen of Worthen Industries, retired N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services commissioner Tom Burack, Malin Clyde of Nature Groupie, and Caitlin Mandeville of Coastal Research Volunteers. Photo by Megan Latour/The Nature Conservancy.
Nature Groupie and Coastal Research Volunteers (CRV) are the recipients of The Nature Conservancy’s 2017 Conservation Partner award. The Nature Conservancy presented the award, as well as other awards for conservation excellence, at an event held earlier this month.
Nature Groupie and CRV are both programs of UNH Cooperative Extension that mobilize volunteers. Nature Groupie (formerly known as the Stewardship Network: New England) is an online hub for outdoor volunteer projects that is committed to creating a culture of stewardship in New England. In the last four years, more than 200 organizations have used Nature Groupie to recruit volunteers for more than 942 events.
“We appreciate partners like The Nature Conservancy that are working with volunteers on projects such as counting baby oysters, pulling invasive plants, and improving trails,” said Malin Clyde, project manager for Nature Groupie. “These diverse projects make the Nature Groupie calendar more exciting and engaging for experienced and new volunteers alike.”
Coastal Research Volunteers, a program of UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Sea Grant, connects volunteers with Extension professionals and research scientists in order to collect data, work on coastal research projects and learn about vital issues affecting New Hampshire’s coast.
“Our volunteers love working with The Nature Conservancy on oyster restoration and other coastal stewardship projects,” said Caitlin Mandeville, citizen science outreach coordinator for CRV. “This collaboration has allowed us to connect volunteers with exciting new opportunities, and we're thrilled to be a partner in this long-standing and successful restoration project.”
The Conservation Partner award is given to organizations that “collaborated effectively with the Conservancy and demonstrated strong commitment to safeguarding important resources,” according to The Nature Conservancy. The organization had this to say when presenting the award to Nature Groupie and CRV:
“Formerly known as the Stewardship Network: New England, Nature Groupie and the Coastal Research Volunteers have been instrumental in volunteer recruitment and management for The Nature Conservancy’s many volunteer opportunities, including its Oyster Conservationist Program, which focused on restoring oysters in the Great Bay Estuary. From organizing groups to count oysters to engaging middle school students, Nature Groupie and the Coastal Research Volunteers excel at helping organizations recruit, manage and engage volunteers. They exhibit great creativity in promoting citizen science and serve as a clearinghouse for environmental volunteer opportunities across the state.”
“From lending a strong voice in support of clean energy solutions to coordinating robust volunteer efforts of all shapes and sizes, the contributions this year’s recipients have made to conservation in the Granite State are exceptional and diverse, and we are grateful for them,” said Mark Zankel, state director of The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire.