In 1955, the National Association of Conservation Districts began a national program to encourage Americans to focus on stewardship. Stewardship Week is officially celebrated from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May. It is one of the world’s largest conservation-related observances.
The program relies on locally-led conservation districts sharing and promoting stewardship and conservation activities. Districts provide conservation and stewardship field days, programs, workshops and additional outreach efforts throughout their community to educate citizens about the need to care for our resources. Many district activities extend beyond the one week observance to include an entire year of outreach.
The Stewardship concept involves personal and social responsibility, including a duty to learn about and improve natural resources as we use them wisely, leaving a rich legacy for future generations.
One definition of Stewardship is “the individual’s responsibility to manage his life and property with proper regard to the rights of others.” E. William Anderson suggests stewardship “is essentially a synonym for conservation.”
Stewardship Week helps to remind us all of the power each person has to conserve natural resources and improve the world. When everyone works together with their local conservation district, that power continuously grows. We have seen these good deeds multiply across the nation’s network of conservation districts and the results are spectacular!
When the land does well for its owner, and the owner does well by his land—when both end up better by reason of their partnership—then we have conservation. – Aldo Leopold