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Environmental Education

Environmental Education

Definition: Environmental education (EE) provides a foundation for building awareness and action about local and global environmental challenges and a sustainable future. While EE is a lifelong process, it often pays particular attention to children and youth. Its goal is to develop knowledge, values, skills, and actions focused on social-ecological systems and the prevention and […]

Collaborative community conservation

Collaborative community conservation

Definition: Collaborative community conservation is an approach that emphasizes the role of citizens and organized stakeholders in developing consensus-based, holistic responses to the complex ecological problems that cross regulatory and jurisdictional boundaries and seeks to engage partners in sustained deliberation, trust-building, and shared work so that ecological, economic, and community goals can be addressed in […]

Healthy Cities and Communities

Healthy Cities and Communities

Definition: In the healthy city framework, communities are respected for the local knowledge and assets they possess and are enabled to further refine and leverage these for greater impact in partnership with public health professionals, urban planners, transportation engineers, and environmental regulators, as well as with a broad range of civic and advocacy groups, such […]

Sustainable Cities

Sustainable Cities

Definition: Sustainable cities and communities refer to local governance strategies to achieve ecological, economic, and social sustainability in ways that are integrated and complementary, that is, without perverse tradeoffs between ecology and economy and in ways that enhance social goals of equity, diversity, community, and democracy. Fast Facts: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) lists […]

Urban and Community Forestry

Urban and Community Forestry

Definition: Urban and community forestry is the field of practice that stewards trees and forests in cities, suburbs, and towns, often with substantial civic engagement and institutional partnership. Objectives encompass everything from maintaining and improving water quality, habitat, and biodiversity, to improving public health and safety and capturing carbon. Urban and community forestry has multiple […]

Democratic Professionals

Democratic Professionals

Definition: Democratic professionals are those who see their work as contributing to a larger public good, but they recognize that to do this they must learn how to be responsive to the concerns, the know-how, and the capabilities of ordinary citizens. They co-produce knowledge with communities so that professional expertise can be fruitfully combined with […]

Social Capital

Social Capital

Definition: Stocks of social trust, norms, and networks that people can draw upon to solve common problems. These are referred to as “capital,” because like many other forms of capital, they can accumulate and can be drawn upon as an investment for future action. Forms of social capital vary. It is thus important to develop […]

National Service

National Service

Definition: in the United States, national service has taken a variety of forms, from the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s to AmeriCorps of the 1990s until today. It has been voluntary and selective, rather than mandatory and universal, and is organized and funded typically through partnership of the Corporation for National and Community Service, […]

Bicycle Association

Bicycle Association

Definition: A nonprofit civic association that advocates for bike improvements in street design and often collaborates with city transportation officials in co-design. Bicycle associations also organize rides, celebrations and other cultural events. Bicycle and pedestrian groups increasingly are part of consolidated associations for transportation alternatives. Fast Facts: League of American Bicyclists were originally known as […]

Watershed Association

Watershed Association

Definition: This is a nonprofit civic association, typically utilizing a holistic and ecological watershed approach, to protect and restore rivers, streams, and larger watersheds, such as a river system or an estuary. These sometimes have other nomenclature, such as watershed alliance and watershed council, which may signify a different structure. Fast Facts: The River Network […]