Community Ecological Stewardship
Agency natural resource programs are grossly
underfunded for managing the crisis of
severe impacts to San Francisco's natural environment. Our fragile
species of critters, rare plants,
communities cannot take care of themselves. People have to be engaged
in the conservation and restoration of their local wildlands in order
for them to survive.
Community ecological stewardship, or community stewardship, refers to the ongoing restorative interaction and mutually-beneficial relationship between people and wildlands. In San Francisco, our network of neighborhood villages situated near significant sites of local biodiversity presents local urban people with wonderful opportunities to connect with nature in their own "backyard."
Community stewardship is an inherently local phenomenon in
which city dwellers become more deeply connected to their neighborhood
nature. If San Franciscans are empowered to learn about their local
watersheds & natural areas and included in the natural resource
management process, they can become profoundly connected to their neighborhood open
space - their ecological community, and become even more
deeply connected to their local human community.
By stewarding the land, people get to know it better, becoming better stewards and making it their habitat, creating a deeper relationship and sense of place with the land and a feeling of community belonging or re-inhabitation. Local communities can enrich their social relationships through realizing the collective positive effect they can have on habitats, biodiversity, and watersheds.
Human and natural communities are all characterized by interconnectedness, interdependence, diversity, adaptability, sense of place and mutual aid and responsibility. True long-term local urban ecological sustainability is dependent upon blurring the distinction between human and natural communities - on the development and mutual coevolution of a healthy and restorative local human-nature relationship.