To build resilient social-ecological networks by catalyzing community science research, education and greenspace initiatives that restore ecosystem services compromised by global change
Incubate initiatives inside organizations to develop community science research and education programs
Link green initiatives of organizations, schools and individuals across the urban-rural continuum
Connect federal, state and local planning with community engagement
Build community research capacity to collect ecological data
Conduct primary research on social-ecological connectivity
What's at stake?
Connectivity yields resilience - both ecologically and socially. Resilient communities are built by network power - by community action that is streamlined, informed by research and subject to best management practices. When green initiatives are networked, it is possible to stack functions in ecosystem service design and planning. The more ecosystem services met per initiative, the faster communities can adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Why Community Science?
We need eyes on the ground. How can scientists alone possibly collect the amount of data neccessary to understand how species and ecosystems are responding to global change (climate change, urbanization)? We often use the term 'community science' to represent the various communities of observers - whether they be citizens, students, teachers, monks, or scientists.
What is a "Greenway?"
The term is most often used to describe a linear green space used for recreational purposes (bike pathway in an urban area etc). We see the term as a way to describe the network of green space in both physical and social terms. Green spaces are expanding at a rapid rate in many cities. Many initiatives are implemented in isolation - unaware of other similar efforts occuring right down the road. Or, too often, an initiative gets started (i.e. a garden gets built) and it ends there. Whether consulting, conducting workshops or community seminars or engaging in full scale research design, we help communities identify and connect their most innovative green initiatives.
We work with all communities across the urban-rural continuum, focusing on the urban/residential systems most at risk to global change. Increased connectivity has great potential to generate increase diveristy, innovation and resilience. Ecological wisdom holds that fragmented habitat cannot support healthy populations of organisms. We believe that urban areas, experiencing the level of heat and C02 that natural areas will likely experience in the coming decades, could allow for climate change resilient gene flow from urban to rural areas, particularly if they are spatially and temporally connected (with the urban core possibly acting as an evolutionary press). Building and connecting greenspaces and community action plans are major steps toward global change resilience.