Location

Cheatham 317

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

27-3-2010 10:30 AM

End Date

27-3-2010 11:00 AM

Description

The WakeNature Preserves Partnership (WakeNature) arose through a combination of citizen activism, recognition among government and other agencies of the need to appropriately manage ecologically valuable natural areas, and faculty and student interest in conserving natural resources in suburban Wake County, NC. WakeNature comprises individuals from government, non‐profit, and academic organizations. Since its inception WakeNature has been committed to positioning all partners as co‐educators, co‐learners, and co‐generators of knowledge, and has served as a platform for teaching, research, and engagement. During its two‐plus year history, WakeNature members have organized several service‐learning workdays at the Marks Creek pilot site involving professional staff from community partners, NC State University faculty and students, and unaffiliated local citizens. Students in various courses have inventoried the forest resources, used geographic information systems to develop maps of potential WakeNature sites, and collected a variety of other data; a communications plan is currently under development by students in a communications capstone course. Two graduate students have performed research related to WakeNature’s efforts, and faculty, graduate students, and community partners have co‐authored a book chapter describing WakeNature as an example of community engagement (the chapter can be made available in manuscript form to attendees). In this presentation, we will provide a brief overview of the context from which WakeNature emerged and the evolution of the organization. We will explore characteristics of the Partnership that we believe make it work well as a platform for scholarship and learning, including shared vision, a co‐created mission, open and transparent communication, equitable distribution of power, and the local nature of our work. We will also share some of the struggles we have had, including political sensitivities, perspectives about power, language issues (the term “preserve” proved a hot‐ button issue) and other “institutional baggage,” and turf‐related conflicts. By the end of the session, attendees should have a better understanding of the potential for community partnerships to serve as a platform for teaching, research, and engagement, as well as the challenges of making it all work. The session will be formatted as a combination of presentation and discussion around the themes of partnership formation, teaching, learning, and engagement

Comments

Citation: Hess, G., G. Blank, P. Clayton, K. Holcombe, C. Snow. 2010. The WakeNature Preserves partnership as an example of community engagement. UENR Biennial Conference, Session Making it Real - Service, Learning, and Internships, Paper Number 3. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Service/3/.

 
Mar 27th, 10:30 AM Mar 27th, 11:00 AM

The WakeNature Preserves Partnership as an Example of Community Engagement

Cheatham 317

The WakeNature Preserves Partnership (WakeNature) arose through a combination of citizen activism, recognition among government and other agencies of the need to appropriately manage ecologically valuable natural areas, and faculty and student interest in conserving natural resources in suburban Wake County, NC. WakeNature comprises individuals from government, non‐profit, and academic organizations. Since its inception WakeNature has been committed to positioning all partners as co‐educators, co‐learners, and co‐generators of knowledge, and has served as a platform for teaching, research, and engagement. During its two‐plus year history, WakeNature members have organized several service‐learning workdays at the Marks Creek pilot site involving professional staff from community partners, NC State University faculty and students, and unaffiliated local citizens. Students in various courses have inventoried the forest resources, used geographic information systems to develop maps of potential WakeNature sites, and collected a variety of other data; a communications plan is currently under development by students in a communications capstone course. Two graduate students have performed research related to WakeNature’s efforts, and faculty, graduate students, and community partners have co‐authored a book chapter describing WakeNature as an example of community engagement (the chapter can be made available in manuscript form to attendees). In this presentation, we will provide a brief overview of the context from which WakeNature emerged and the evolution of the organization. We will explore characteristics of the Partnership that we believe make it work well as a platform for scholarship and learning, including shared vision, a co‐created mission, open and transparent communication, equitable distribution of power, and the local nature of our work. We will also share some of the struggles we have had, including political sensitivities, perspectives about power, language issues (the term “preserve” proved a hot‐ button issue) and other “institutional baggage,” and turf‐related conflicts. By the end of the session, attendees should have a better understanding of the potential for community partnerships to serve as a platform for teaching, research, and engagement, as well as the challenges of making it all work. The session will be formatted as a combination of presentation and discussion around the themes of partnership formation, teaching, learning, and engagement

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Service/3