Nature Trust of New Brunswick:
Moving from education to engagement

For years, education was central to the mission of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick (NTNB). However, the more executive director Renata Woodward learned about Engagement Organizing, the more she believed it was time to swap “educating” for “engaging” to drive meaningful and measurable results.
 
The board agreed, and the mission was updated. Today, engagement is a tool that informs the daily activities of staff and volunteers — and that includes political engagement.
 
Leading up to the 2018 provincial election, NTNB teamed up with five other nature organizations to launch a petition campaign to increase protected areas in New Brunswick. It provided highly successful. All political parties committed to protect 10 per cent of the province.
 
The land conservation organization also created a community of practice with Ontario’s Bruce Trail Conservancy and Couchiching Conservancy. Staff at the three organizations share ideas about how best to engage private landowners in ecological stewardship. Meanwhile, they’ve worked together to improve how they recruit new supporters, develop relationships and mobilize volunteers.
 
Since its founding in 1987, NTNB has secured 8,000 acres in 62 nature preserves, stewarded by 28 volunteer groups who schedule cleanups, maintain trails and lead hikes.