SS 15 - Civic Ecology: A Pathway for Earth Stewardship In Cities

Monday, August 6, 2012: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
B113, Oregon Convention Center
Marianne E. Krasny, Cornell University
Keith G. Tidball, Cornell University
In an increasingly urban society, city residents are finding new ways of stewarding nature that integrate environmental, community, and individual outcomes. These urban civic ecology practices, including community gardening, shellfish reintroductions, tree planting and care, invasive species removal, and habitat restoration, generally begin as small grassroots or self-organized efforts, often following a prolonged period of economic and environmental decline or more sudden disruptions such as disaster and conflict. Those practices that are sustained expand to encompass partnerships with non-profit organizations, government agencies, and universities. Civic ecology practices reflect local cultures and environments, as well as the social-ecological memories of city residents, and thus vary widely across different cities. When viewed as local assets in some of our poorest and most degraded neighborhoods, civic ecology practices offer opportunities for scientific and policy partnerships that address ESA’s Earth Stewardship and action ecology agendas. The purpose of this special session is to engage in a discussion of civic ecology scholarship and practice. We will introduce conceptual frameworks informing civic ecology, including social-ecological systems resilience and conservation psychology, following which local civic ecology practitioners will present case descriptions of their practices. Potential local presenters* include Verde (, which “serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy;” Friends of Trees (, and Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors ( The session will conclude with a discussion of a participatory tool to assess environmental, community, and individual outcomes of local civic ecology practices. *Local presenters not yet contacted.
See more of: Special Session