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Technical Brief 22 Developing and Implementing Archeological Site Stewardship Programs

Table 2: Checklist: Components of a Successful Site Stewardship Program

Information based on information about site stewardship programs via websites and consultation with SHPO offices.

A. LEADERSHIP
  At least one, preferably two, paid full-time leadership positions
Central leadership roles filled by people trained in the archeological resources of the region
Local leadership is not too greatly invested in one person
Coordinator positions filled by people who can commit at least five years to the program
A clear chain of command to facilitate communication
Site stewardship coordinator regularly communicates with volunteers
Preferably, leadership has valuable contacts/roles in pertinent state and federal agencies
Program leadership is intimately connected with pertinent land management agency
B. BUDGET
Identify at least two to three years of funding before implementing program
Try to diversify funding sources
Budget includes funding for coordinator position
Contingency plans to protect against unpredictable changes in funding
C. PROGRAM GOALS
Goals are clearly developed and communicated to both partnering agencies and volunteers
D. PARTNERSHIPS
Partnerships are strategic: Partner with agencies/institutions that can provide funding/resources
Partnerships are explicit: The roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the partnership are concrete
Partner with groups that have a stake in the resources protected by the program, i.e., solicit involvement of Native American groups
Partnerships with federal land management agencies and local archeologists are essential
Partnerships can provide more than money—other types of resources can be exchanged
Diversify partnerships to prevent over-reliance
Consider a Memorandum of Understanding to streamline interactions between the program and partnering agencies
Create an advisory body to facilitate communication between partners
E. PROTECTING SITE INFORMATION & CAREFUL RECRUITMENT
Rely on recruiting volunteers via word-of-mouth
Require a reference for steward applicants, consider an exit interview
Require extensive training for site stewards that includes classroom and fieldwork components
Identify archeological resources that are too fragile to be monitored by site stewards
Create and emphasize a local archeological community that includes volunteers
F. PROGRAM ADVERTISING
Aim it at attracting the “right” type of person
Highlight a community of site stewards
Avoid calling attention to specific sites
Use it to educate about local archeology
Utilize internet sites to get the word out
Advertising is for attracting volunteers as well as to inform the community of the valuable work of the stewardship program
G. VOLUNTEER MOTIVATION & RETENTION
Volunteers are actively involved in the planning and operation of the program
Avoid giving volunteers too many tasks that will overwhelm them
Volunteers should be updated on progress towards program goals
Regular communication between site stewardship coordinators and volunteers
If possible, encourage families to volunteer together
H. VOLUNTEER BENEFITS & RECOGNITION
Track the volunteer hours contributed by each individual
Regularly recognize volunteers for their contributions
Personalize awards and gifts to volunteers
Incorporate volunteers within the local archeological community
Give volunteers special benefits for their time and effort
Publicly recognize volunteers in some way
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