Welch Ledges Stewardship and Science Program
In 2012, the Waterman Fund awarded the Rey Center from Waterville Valley, NH $2,275 for the Welch Ledges Stewardship and Citizen Science Program. The Rey Center then led five stewardship hikes for camp and school groups and the general public, teaching participants about the unique flora and Leave No Trace stewardship practices to protect the Ledges.
In addition, four volunteer Welch Ledges stewards were trained as educators, and they subsequently contacted 1,370 hikers with a stewardship message and introduced those with more interest to the outcrop community at the ledges. For the science part of the project, observers recorded the paths and behavior of 580 hikers to lay the groundwork for a vegetation monitoring program, and citizen science volunteers were trained to participate in future monitoring.
A spin off result of the Welch Ledges program was the development of a field-based education program for Plymouth State College undergraduates, and the training of graduate students who delivered the Welch Ledges Stewardship curriculum to camp and school groups.