STEW-MAP: The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project
What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is defined as the activity or job of protecting, taking care of, or being responsible for something.
Natural resource stewardship refers to people’s efforts to take care of the natural world. These stewardship activities may take place on public or private lands and include actions such as tree planting and/or pruning, community gardening, removal of litter or invasive species, creation of green public spaces or other community greening efforts, as well as activities that help conserve, improve, or address land, water, or air quality issues. STEW-MAP defines stewardship as consisting of six functions: conservation, management, education, advocacy, monitoring, and transformation.
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.
Research findings have begun to illuminate the transformative power of natural resources stewardship as an activity that naturally cultivates and strengthens civic engagement. This relationship has powerful implications for individual and community health and well-being, as well as for the health and well-being of our democracy. In addition, leveraging stewardship interest and capacity can be a powerful way for governments, non-profits, and other organizations to achieve goals and outcomes that would otherwise be improbable or impossible with finite resources.
Research has shown that stewardship can help achieve the following objectives:
- Provides a means by which individuals and communities contribute to a purpose, and to the beauty and health of their environment.
- Serves as an outward cue of care and concern, and can catalyze change and investment by internal and external forces in a community.
- Serves as a form of empowerment, especially in communities that have experienced hardship, economic divestment, or natural disasters.
- Plays a key role in helping communities recover from natural disturbances and human-caused disasters.
- Creates benefits that extend into the future by building and strengthening communities.
News, Events, and More
- August 17, 2018, Facebook
- Resilience isn`t only about infrastructure. How can we better support community-based environmental stewardship in readiness, response, and recovery from disturbance?November 11, 2016, Nature of Cities
- February 10, 2016, ioby
- September 3, 2014, Nature of Cities
- June 28, 2013, Pop Tech
- A Social-ecological framework for urban stewardship network research to promote sustainable and resilient citiesJune 9, 2017
- Toward an understanding of citywide urban environmental governance: An examination of stewardship networks in Baltimore and SeattleSeptember 9, 2016
- Recognizing Stewardship Practices as Indicators of Social Resilience: In Living MemoRecent Publicationsrials and in a Community GardenAugust 12, 2016
- Stewardship mapping and assessment project: a framework for understanding community-based environmental stewardshipFebruary 25, 2016
- Mixed methods analysis of urban environmental stewardship networksAugust 31, 2015