Education & Learning

The Civic Ecology Lab seeks to understand how learning that is situated in community gardening, streamside and habitat restoration, stewardship of neighborhood parks, community forestry, and other civic ecology practices contributes to adaptation and transformation in stressed communities, and thus becomes a source of social-ecological system resilience. This work began in the early 2000’s with Garden Mosaics—our intergenerational community gardening education program that has been implemented in cities across the US and in Europe and Africa. Today we continue our research/outreach collaborations with community-based organizations engaged in civic ecology practices, such as Rocking the Boat in the Bronx and Gowanus Canal Conservancy in Brooklyn.

The Civic Ecology Lab is home to EECapacity, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s national environmental education training program. EECapacity draws from social innovation theory to link civic ecology, environmental education, and youth and community development professionals from across North America, in order to exchange ideas and generate new practices. These new practices reflect the ways in which communities facing multiple stresses—including disinvestment, crime, poverty, flooding, heat waves, and drought—are reconnecting with and stewarding nature and community.


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