What is a Stream Team Association?
A Stream Team Association is a group of Stream Teams in the same or adjoining watersheds working together on projects that affect their adopted streams. The Association enables Stream Teams to take on larger projects impacting a greater area.
What do Stream Team Associations do?
Associations assist with projects which are too large for a local Team to handle on their own. Some Associations have obtained tax exempt status so they can more easily receive grants and donations. This enables the Association to undertake projects that would be cost prohibitive for the average Team.
Other Associations are more informal and simply call on each other to help on big projects requiring more labor, like large scale tree plantings, stream bank restorations, or major litter pickup events. It is up to the collective Teams involved to decide how they want to set up their Association. An individual Team may choose to join an existing Association.
Why should my Stream Team be a part of an Association?
* There is strength in sharing experiences.
The opportunity to network, to share experiences with other Teams, is one of the best reasons for your Stream Team to be part of an Association. You will learn from other Teams about their successes and hurdles. Other Teams may have already completed their similar projects and can steer you away from problems they encountered. Sharing resources, contacts, talents and skills can save your Team time and energy.
* There is strength in numbers.
Have you ever tried to influence a change in policy through a letter writing campaign and were only able to generate a couple of letters? Or, perhaps you've attempted a litter pickup and found you didn't have enough people to get the job done right. By banding together we can accomplish tasks we couldn't begin to do as individual Teams. This is one of the ways an Association can strengthen your Team.
* There is strength in diversity.
Each Team has certain talents and resources. Some of these may include: computer skills and equipment, planning and zoning information, experience working with landowners, or water quality expertise, to name just a few. Not all Teams have the same experiences, talents, or resources. An Association brings all of the resources together to be shared.
I don't have enough time. How can I find time for an Association?
Time is a commodity of which we are all short. Collective efforts allow us to manage our time more efficiently and enable us to have more time to do the things we feel are important.
Organizing special events like litter pickups are a major time commitment. An association provides additional support for working out the details and lessening your time commitment.
Through cooperation we all help ease the problem of "not enough time." Your Association can take the lead if you have a project that needs to be done.
How do I join or form my own Association.?
Contact other Teams in your watershed and ask them if they are interested in working together to form an Association. For a list of Teams in your watershed, call 1-800-751-1989 (voice mail) or send e-mail requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a group you can decide how to form your Association. You may choose a formal or informal style of partnering. Stream Team Biologists are available to assist with Association development. You should also contact your Stream Team Coordinator once you have decided to establish an Association so that it can be formally set up.
Another option is to join one of the existing Associations listed on the enclosed insert. Call the listed contact person and begin sharing experiences and goals.
Do different Associations work together?
Associations from different watersheds have worked together on projects. Each year the Association in the Meramec River basin plans and organizes a major litter pickup event in August. Over 400 miles of streams are cleaned by hundreds of associated Stream Team members and others.
These cooperative efforts have led Associations to establish a united organization to address issues impacting streams statewide. This alliance of Associations is called the Missouri Watershed Coalition (MWC). As a member of an Association, your Team can have a voice in statewide issues through MWC.Click here for a list of Stream Team Associations