chapter  3
25 Pages

Digging together: understanding environmental stewardship in New York City

The MillionTreesNYC initiative exemplifi es urban stewardship programs that are shaping the social and environmental landscape of cities throughout the world. In this context, we look in depth at how urban environmental stewardship relates to civic engagement among volunteer stewards involved with the MillionTreesNYC initiative in New York City. We begin this chapter by discussing relevant scholarship on civic participation broadly and urban stewardship in particular. With this context in mind, we report on data from volunteer stewards involved with the MillionTreesNYC initiative. Our fi ndings in this chapter focus on who participates in efforts to plant and maintain the urban forest and what mobilizes them to engage in environmental stewardship. Thus, this chapter lays the foundation for our broad exploration of how stewardship relates to democratic citizenship. In the following chapters we will refer to these fi ndings in order to explore why people become highly involved in stewardship and how stewardship relates to volunteers’ civic identity.