SAM Meeting FAQ
WHO IS SAM... YOU ARE!
1) Who is SAM?
You may not yet have become aware of STEWARDSHIP ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPALITIES INC, otherwise affectionately known as “SAM”. SAM is an incorporated non-profit organization (1994) comprised of NL municipalities interested in wildlife habitat conservation.
SAM is part of the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) whose mission is to conserve landscapes in Eastern Canada to sustain bird populations while providing ecological, social and economic benefits to society.
Your town became involved with SAM upon the signing of a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement with the province. This agreement, as a tangible public step taken by your council, serves to proactively conserve habitat for wildlife, often wetlands for waterfowl and other birds, found within your municipal planning boundaries. Since taking that initial step many towns have become involved in restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat while educating and engaging residents in sustainable land use actions. Since 1989, 41 municipalities in NL have signed such agreements and incorporated them into their municipal planning documents and development regulations.
2) When are the business meetings?
SAM meets twice a year (spring/fall) to share experiences, discuss potential projects and engage on conservation issues of shared concern. Meetings take place on a Saturday, with a meet and greet on Friday night, and an evening networking supper on Saturday night.
3) What happens at the meetings?
A finalized weekend itinerary and Saturday meeting agenda is emailed to all registered attendees before the meeting. After the Saturday meeting there is an outdoor event hosted by the community. These events sometimes take place on nature trails, beaches, and in conservation areas. So come prepared with outdoor footwear and rain gear.
4) Who can attend a SAM meeting?
Invitations are emailed to SAM communities with an online registration form. Town councils appoint a representative to attend the meetings and they can be either:
A) A member of council
B) A member of staff or
C) A member of a council committee or interested town resident.
5) What is expected of attendees?
These meetings represent an opportunity for your community to showcase its involvement and implementation of your habitat stewardship agreement. It is also a chance to become inspired by work being done in other municipalities and bring those ideas back to your community. There are two important expectations of attendees:
A) First, we ask that representatives prepare a brief 5 - 7 min verbal or written report outlining any conservation and stewardship activities that have taken place in your town since the last meeting.
B) Secondly, we request that following the meeting, each attendee provide a report on the meeting outcomes to their respective councils and/or committees.
6) Can I bring informational materials?
SAM encourages each town to promote their involvement in Habitat Stewardship, including creating communication materials. If you town has any printed or online materials a space is available during the meeting to put up a poster and/or have a display of the stewardship activities/projects accomplished by your committee or town.
7) What if I am unable to attend the meeting?
Please send a brief written report (1page or less), outlining the activities which have occurred recently in the ongoing implementation of your municipal habitat stewardship agreement or in terms of your town’s efforts to increase environmental sustainability. Your report will be tabled at the meeting.
8) Does SAM pay for accommodations? SAM Travel Incentive Policy
SAMs travel incentive policy will pay for one night of accommodation for each municipality at the hotel arranged by the host municipality. Attendees must use a credit card to book the room and pay in full, and they will be reimbursed for one nights' stay paid for by the SAM treasurer either during or following the meeting. Representatives are responsible for arranging their own transportation and booking their own accommodations at the designated hotel. Contact information for the hotel will be provided in the emailed SAM Meeting invitation.
If a representative wishes to share a room with a representative from another town, two nights of accommodations can be covered. All other expenses incurred at the hotel (i.e. second night stay, room service etc.) will be charged to the credit card used to book the room.
9) Where do I stay during the meeting?
Rooms will be blocked off at a hotel in the area by the host municipality for SAM meeting attendees. When making a reservation please let the hotel know that you are with the “Stewardship Association of Municipalities”.
In order to take advantage of the SAM Travel Incentive policy, you must stay in the designated hotel, unless you are able to demonstrate why you could not get accommodations there. If that is the case please inform SAM Staff ASAP.
10) Are meals provided at the meeting? What about allergies and dietary restrictions?
On Friday evening finger foods are provided during the meeting a greet. Registered attendees may bring a guest to the meet and greet as well. On Saturday lunch and health breaks are provided during the meeting and in the evening, registered attendees, with their plus one, are invited to the networking dinner. Please let us know on the online registration form about any food allergies or dietary restrictions, as well as if you are bringing a guest to the Friday meeting and greet or the Saturday networking dinner.