Preserving Place and Culture

QLF embraces stewardship as a fundamental philosophy in all of its programs. The concept of stewardship encompasses efforts to create, nurture, and enable responsibility in landowners and resource users to manage and protect land and its natural and cultural heritage.

Stewardship builds on the basic human impulse to care for one’s home – whether that be a parcel of land, neighborhood, historic site, waterfall, or watershed – and the cultural ties, traditions, and shared histories that bind community members together. Partnerships are a central component of stewardship. Our partnerships connect communities and bioregions and enable effective model-sharing.

QLF’s stewardship programs operate internationally, oriented towards parks and protected areas of all kinds, as well as in the Atlantic Region where the emphasis lies on culture and heritage.

QLF has been conducting international Fellowships and other programs on the theme of stewardship since the early 1980s. Working in partnership with local, regional, and international institutions, stewardship programs link conservation in QLF’s home region with counterparts abroad, including Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western and Eastern Europe. Exchanges and interventions have emphasized collaborative management, diverse governance, 21st century parks, urban relevance, and techniques to involve diverse stakeholders in conservation and resource management.

Collaborative projects involving QLF Alumni, international partners, and Senior Vice President, Brent Mitchell, advance new thinking in systems planning, park management, World Heritage, working landscapes, and other conservation efforts. Ideas and lessons in stewardship are brought back to the Atlantic Region through QLF’s partnerships with the National Park Service and its Stewardship Institute, which advances innovation in collaborative conservation for the stewardship of the U.S. national system of parks and special places.

In Canada, QLF’s Culture & Heritage Program is designed to inspire stewardship through community development programs that focus on culture, tradition, and heritage. Projects in Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland are helping communities develop heritage tourism strategies, fostering intergenerational learning, developing tangible cultural products, inspiring local leadership, and contributing to community development in a meaningful and sustainable manner.