3) What happens at the meetings?
Meetings generally include a meet and greet, a business meeting, a networking formal dinner and a field tour often on community nature trails and in conservation areas. A finalized itinerary and business meeting agenda is emailed to all registered attendees before the meeting.
4) Who can attend a SAM meeting?
Meetings are by invitation only and include representatives of member municipalities, partnering conservation organizations and invited guests. Town councils appoint a "SAM Representative" to attend the meetings and they can be either:
A) A member of council
B) A member of town staff or
C) A member of a council committee or knowledgeable committed 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 and in seeking to become a sustainable community. It is also a chance to become inspired by work being done in other municipalities and bring those ideas back to your community. We ask generally ask SAM Representatives / attendees prepare a brief 5 min verbal report outlining any conservation and stewardship activities that have taken place in your town since the last meeting. You are welcome to bring along written documents or utilize photos/presentations for this purpose. Following the meeting, we ask each attendee to provide a report on relevant meeting outcomes to their respective councils and/or appropriate 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?
We recognize that the costs and distances involved in attending SAM business meetings may be prohibitive in some instances. But we still want to hear from you! You are welcome to send a brief written report (1 page or less) to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 reviewed by other members at the meeting in your absence.
8) What are the Costs? Does SAM pay for accommodations?
There is no registration fee to attend SAM meetings and meals are provided at no charge during formal itinerary events. We do recognize that there can be significant travel costs incurred to attend meetings. In order to encourage members to send a SAM Representative to business meetings, SAM has established a travel incentive policy. SAM will reimburse for each SAM member town (or for each SAM representative) the costs incurred for one night of accommodations during the meeting. Attendees will book and pay for their own accommodations and will be reimbursed following the SAM business meeting upon the submission of a properly completed expense claim and associated receipt. Additionally, if a SAM Representative wishes to share a room with another Representative from a different member town, two nights of accommodations can be covered. All other expenses that might be incurred, such as a second night stay, room service etc. will not be reimbursed. Generally, we block off rooms at a hotel in the area for attendees in order to keep costs low. We request that attendees stay at the designated hotel in order to take advantage of the travel incentive policy unless you are able to demonstrate why you could not get accommodations there.
9) Are meals provided at the meeting? What about allergies and dietary restrictions?
Generally finger foods are provided during the meeting a greet, health breaks and a lunch are provided during the business meeting, and a full course meal is provided during a networking dinner. Please let us know on the online registration form about any food allergies or dietary restrictions.
10) Can I bring a guest?
Registered attendees are welcome to bring a guest to the meet and greet and to the networking dinner. We also love to meet guests and have them participate in field tours we may take during the meeting. Please let us know on the online registration form if you are bringing a guest to any events.
SAM Meeting FAQ
WHO IS SAM... YOU ARE!
1) Who is SAM?
The Stewardship Association of Municipalities Inc, affectionately known to its members as “SAM”, is an incorporated non-profit organization. Its membership is comprised of NL municipalities formally committed to the conservation of wildlife habitat found within town planning boundaries.
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 important 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 1993, over 45 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 generally meets twice a year (spring/fall) to share experiences, discuss potential projects, and engage on conservation issues of shared concern.