State Green Leadership Networks Prove Effective

Charlottesville, VA (January 6, 2014) – Natural Resource Leadership Institutes (NRLI) are a new way governments, industries, green infrastructure businesses, and environmental groups are working together to address natural resource management, including urban forests. Developing professional leadership networks are proving successful in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. Learn how to start your own NRLI.

TREES_FOR_TRACKSRather than quarreling and divisiveness, NRLIs aim to bridge disparate interests and teach “green leaders”—those who address issues around natural resources and green infrastructure—how to manage environmental conflict.

Participants attend workshops on consensus building, conflict management techniques, and travel to regions in their state to see specific natural resources issues firsthand. This comprehensive, interactive approach allows green leaders to build capacity while working on real problems affecting their state. Here’s more on how an NRLI program works.

Several existing models have met with great success and are working templates for other states. North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida have annual NRLI programs with similar structures, timelines, and goals. Feedback from participants in these states has shown that the NRLI model is effective.

leadership instituteRecently, Virginia assisted two other states, Ohio and Colorado, in creating two new NRLI models that require less overall time commitment. These new programs have learned important lessons about the crucial elements to forming a new green leadership network.

Each of these NRLI programs is structured differently and addresses the specific needs and interests of the state. Get the basic steps for starting your own NRLI program.

Assisting the development of state NRLI programs for urban forestry, green infrastructure, green industry, and environmental practitioners is a project of the University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation. It is funded through a grant awarded by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service.