Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Engaging Communities of the Ozarks in Leadership and Environmental Awareness Development* Pt. 1

GLADE, the Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems, has the ability to bring people and organizations together with a shared vision of active, young, community-based leaders. It was created in the Ozarks, developed in the Ozarks, and takes place in the Ozarks. We now enter a challenging time with our goal to become independent of TogetherGreen funding by the fall of 2012.

Have you ever heard of the Hubble Telescope? I suspect that most of you have because of the beautiful pictures of outer space that it has miraculously sent back to Earth.
Did you know that the Hubble Telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, one of our own here in the Ozarks?
Edwin Hubble was born in the small, rural community of Marshfield, Missouri, in 1889. During his life of research, he profoundly changed the way we look at our own world when he discovered that a multitude of galaxies exist beyond our own Milky Way. Rising from his humble beginnings in the rural Ozarks, he rose to become one of the greatest scientists in the world.

So what does this have to do with the GLADE project? Leadership crosses over many disciplines, and developing strong, responsible leaders is critical to survival of our nation. How can GLADE facilitate the emergence of community-based leadership?

The GLADE Logic Model

  1. Academic Rigor---->Conservation Researchers, Field Experts----->Wise Use of Resources

  2. Hard Work--------->Habitat Restoration Project------------>Productive, Active Citizens

  3. Leadership Training----->Niche-based Leadership---->Skilled, Community-based Leaders


Throughout the week university professors, MDC specialists, water quality personnel, and other professionals in the conservation field share their time and expertise with the students on a one-on-one basis,providing direct exposure and knowledge of the wildlife, land, and water resources of the Ozarks. GLADE participants, future community leaders will take this set of skills back to their hometowns, increasing the chances of a future Ozarks communities reflecting committment to core values.

The work ethic instilled by the GLADE project is hard to deny. For the past two years, students have toiled in upper 90's temperatures and endured heat advisories for the entire region. In spite of this, they enthusiastically engaged in a 2 acre Giant Cane riparian habitat restoration on a single day of the academy each year. This action both protects the waters and increases the biodiversity of the habitat so that the quality of life in the Ozarks is enhanced.

The Leadership Training aspect of GLADE incorporates the latest theories and practices in the world of business. Our niche-based approach allows each individual to flourish and rise to the occasion when there is a need for his/her input in the group process. Over the course of the week, each individual develops a committment to the group, and is connected by a common vision. In this leadership model the benefits of teamwork and shared responsibility are emphasized, and the values of integrity, honesty, and respect are solidly reinforced.

(to be continued.)

*ECOLEAD -Engaging Communities of the Ozarks in Leadership and Environmental Awareness Development- rights reserved by GLADE project.

No comments: