People all across Seattle and the central Puget Sound participate in environmental stewardship efforts. Stewardship includes tree planting, ecological restoration, education and advocacy. These activities are happening in all places from natural open space to city parks and streets.
Many efforts are underway to map and catalog stewardship efforts. These projects seek to understand the aggregate impacts of disparate positive actions people are taking all over the Seattle metropolitan area: what we call the ‘stewardship footprint’. In 2012 a STEW-MAP project was undertaken in Seattle and surrounding King County to catalog efforts and better understand their impacts. A directory of the over 700 organizations conducting stewardship was compiled. Organizations were then invited to take part in the STEW-MAP survey reporting information about their stewardship activities, partners, and organizations. Nearly 200 organizations responded. Their data was synthesized and mapped to produce geographic representations of stewardship in the region. This work provided a general view of networks amongst environmental stewardship actors in the region.
While this initial Seattle STEW-MAP project looked at civic stewardship aiding the environment in the public realm, other efforts are underway looking at stewardship activities on private property in rural, residential, undeveloped, and agricultural lands. A potential gap in understanding is the yet unexplored corresponding impact of stewardship and greening in highly urban and rapidly developing landscapes. Stewardship efforts to include nature and greening in urban development can assist in improving human health and well-being, improving water quality and fish habitat, benefiting local sound and visual aesthetics, and addressing environmental justice inequities. However current greening policies are highly variable, and stewardship motives and effectiveness are poorly understood. We are considering these topics as the next focus of exploration. Questions or interest in these topics in the Seattle area – contact us!
News, Events, and More
- December 20, 2020, Nature of Cities
- December 1, 2020, Nature of Cities
- September 24, 2020, The Nature of Cities Blog
- Research Tool for Visualizing and Understanding the Nature of Stewardship Becomes Art in New ExhibitSeptember 10, 2020, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station News Release
- June 24, 2020, ReGreen Springfield
- June 24, 2020, The Nature of Cities blog
- April 1, 2020, Bridger-Teton National Forest
- STEW-MAP in the New York City region: survey results of the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project June, 2019
- A Social-ecological framework for urban stewardship network research to promote sustainable and resilient cities June 9, 2017
- Toward an understanding of citywide urban environmental governance: An examination of stewardship networks in Baltimore and Seattle September 9, 2016
- Recognizing Stewardship Practices as Indicators of Social Resilience: In Living Memorials and in a Community Garden August 12, 2016
- Stewardship mapping and assessment project: a framework for understanding community-based environmental stewardship February 25, 2016
- Mixed methods analysis of urban environmental stewardship networks August 31, 2015