Case Studies

National Riparian Service Team

Service trips are a combination of training and place-based problem solving efforts that are designed to address the technical dimensions of riparian-wetland related issues while at the same time recognizing and addressing the social context within which these issues exist. Service trips often occur over a series of phases and emphasize incorporating and facilitating respectful communication across a diverse range of stakeholders while also involving the appropriate natural resource specialists. The complexity of the issues and the working dynamic of the group are key factors in determining how many steps may be needed to actually come to resolution.  Regardless of the particular design and content of each step, the following principles and practices are incorporated into each: (1) bring affected interests together to build relationships and create learning environments, (2) develop a community information base, and (3) empower people to create change and leverage resources.

The following case studies highlight service trips that show a progression of steps involved in a multiphased approach. Each demonstrates the application of principles and practices that are fundamental aspects of the Creeks and Communities strategy, and yet the particular design is dependent upon the social and ecological issues and needs identified within each situation. The specific case studies included in this report are not meant to demonstrate the breadth or geographic scope of the network’s activities, but rather to illustrate the depth and makeup of a service trip and what place-based problem solving that blends the social and technical dimensions looks like on the ground. Outcomes indicate that the goal of the Creeks and Communities strategy is being realized through these types of activities. Both a short and long version of each cases study is provided.