Purdue Extension’s new Conservation through Community Leadership (CCL) program led by Kara Salazar, IISG and Purdue Extension sustainable communities extension specialist, is now accepting applications for the inaugural community action planning meetings.

This new program guides community groups, boards, and commissions through facilitated action planning sessions to support locally driven natural resource management strategies and policy. Community groups participating in the program identify issues of concern and a program track of either land use planning at a watershed scale or invasive species management.

Participants will convene a working group to meet over the course of approximately five meetings with Purdue facilitators. Sessions will include community visioning, education on innovative management strategies, and coaching for action plans.

The result is a local or regional action plan and strategies for implementation projects for use with watershed plans, comprehensive plan updates, invasive species management plans and/or planning commission recommendations.

“We’re really excited to launch the program and get the chance to connect with communities who might benefit from this plan,” Salazar said. “We hope they’ll come away from the meetings with a better understanding of their natural resource options and feeling confident about making informed land-use decisions.”

The Indiana-based curriculum and community action planning meetings were developed using best practices from leadership training and community development to facilitate community decision making for natural resource management strategies.

Program applications are due by February 17, 2017. Groups will be notified by March 3, 2017 to discuss next steps and schedule meetings. There is no cost for participation. Funding for this program was provided by a Purdue Extension Issues-Based Action Team (I-BAT) grant in 2016. Additional funding was provided in part by the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) and IISG Sea Grant.

To learn more, visit the program website Conservation through Community Leadership (CCL).

For questions, please contact Kara Salazar, 765-496-1070, salazark@purdue.edu.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.