About The Stewardship Mapping & Assessment Project

The first STEW-MAP was thought up and carried out in New York City by researchers from the US Forest Service and a large group of partner organizations. They were interested in learning about stewardship work going on “under the radar” (i.e. carried out on unexpected sites or by informal local groups). Many understaffed government agencies and environmental non-profit groups rely heavily on volunteers to help carry out stewardship tasks, especially in tough economic times. But no one had ever tried to figure out how many stewardship groups there were, where they worked, and what they worked on. That’s where STEW-MAP came in.

STEW-MAP projects have now been completed in New York City, Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Los Angeles STEW-MAP was launched in September 2014. Each project is conducted separately by a local research team in partnership with local agencies and organizations. Click here to learn more about STEW-MAP projects in other cities.

Several scholarly research articles and reports have been published about STEW-MAP. Click here to see the list and find full text of the articles and reports.

What is Stewardship?

STEW-MAP uses a broad definition of environmental stewardship: conserving, managing, monitoring, advocating for, or educating others about local environments.

This can include activities related to water, land, air, waste, toxics, or energy. We include churches, schools, social service organizations, and other groups that do some consistent environmental stewardship work even if it is not their primary focus.

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