For Urban Forestry, Green Infrastructure, Green Industry, and Environmental Practitioners
– A project funded through a grant awarded by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service
Learn From Three States …
Several other states have attempted to develop new NRLI programs, thanks to a USFS grant awarded by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC). Ohio, Colorado, and Texas were awarded grants to form environmental leadership programs specific to their state needs and concerns. We have learned two overall lessons from these past few years in working with other states to implement the Developing Professional Leadership Networks project.
Partnerships are Essential. To be successful, a state interested in starting a leadership program needs to develop a team of at least two people in at least two different organizations to see it through. Organizations that have been successful in initiating these programs include universities working in partnership with state agencies and nonprofit organizations. In both Colorado and Ohio, the new programs would have been impossible to launch without a partnership approach. This was proven true in the case of the Texas team where one team member was unable to martial the necessary resources when another partner was no longer able to participate. In economically difficult times, limited funds must be leveraged to their utmost and partnerships become all the more imperative.
The NRLI Approach is Unique. The concept of a collaborative green infrastructure leadership network takes attention and care to explain. In the experience of Ohio, their first effort to launch a program did not succeed, in part because some potential participants had difficulty understanding how this kind of leadership network differentiates from others. What sets this program apart is that it connects the dots between environmental issues, leadership, conflict resolution, and collaborative problem solving. Deeper understanding of these subjects is gained through dynamic panels featuring diverse perspectives and applied exercises. It’s important to convey the unique approach of this kind of program from the outset. In its second effort, Ohio credits its successful launch, in part, to carefully crafted language that enabled people to quickly understand the unique benefits of this leadership network program.
In addition, each state has learned unique lessons from their efforts which might assist interested groups in the future. Contact information for organizers in each state is also provided.
The Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute welcomed participants to its first three-session program in the summer of 2013. The three sessions were focused on leadership for sustainability, climate change, and energy. The Ohio program is led by Ohio State University Extension in partnership with the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Office of Energy and the Environment. (The Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, an original founding partner, was defunded by the Ohio General Assembly in 2012.)
Program Director, Watershed Management
Ohio State University Extension, 210 Kottman Hall
2021 Coffey Rd.
Columbus, OH 43210
The Colorado Collaborative Leadership Institute (CCLI) is a joint initiative of the University of Denver Conflict Resolution Institute, the University of Colorado at Denver School of Public Affairs, Colorado State University, and the Center for Public Deliberation. Following a collaborative workshop for all potential partners in November 2012, the CCLI launched its first program in December 2013 on “Collaboration for Community Wildlife Mitigation Planning.”
Tamra Pearson d’Estrée, Ph.D.
Luce Professor of Conflict Resolution
Conflict Resolution Institute
University of Denver
A team from the Texas Forest Service and University of Texas Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution were eager to launch a program in Texas, and began this effort in 2010 when they joined the 2011 Virginia NRLI cohort. The economic downturn, however, led one partner to withdraw from the partnership due to fiscal constraints. Leaders in Texas are still considering the best approach to move forward. If you’re interested in assisting, please contact Suzanne Schwartz if you would like to learn more.
Environmental Program Director
Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution
The University of Texas School of Law
727 E. Dean Keeton St.
Austin, TX 78705