Ecotrust launches new software platform for 21st-century decision making
Release Date: 07-11-2012

PORTLAND, OR — How will we all thrive on a densely populated, rapidly changing planet? Today, Ecotrust launches Madrona, a new software platform for effective place-based decision making, to help planners and communities answer that question.

Madrona builds on Ecotrust’s 20 years of experience using innovative mapping and software tools to bridge different perspectives on land and ocean use. The organization’s tools have empowered people to collaborate and make difficult natural resource decisions on the West Coast and across North America.

“Governments and communities at every scale all over the globe are challenged to find innovative solutions for living well in the 21st century,” says Astrid Scholz, Ecotrust’s executive vice president. “We feel that the time is right to offer up the Madrona suite of tools, which have grown out of our groundbreaking work in providing tools for better decisions.”

Madrona provides software developers with building blocks that can be mixed and matched to create customized web-based tools for decision support and spatial planning. These building blocks have evolved through a wide variety of projects, including Ecotrust’s award-winning work with the MarineMap Consortium designing marine protected areas in California, a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifying conservation priorities in the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, and a project that helps regional leaders around the world visualize future social and environmental vulnerabilities and resilience-building opportunities.

Tools developed on the Madrona platform feature an easy-to-use interface, rich visualization of data, and adaptability as a project evolves. Because Madrona is a modular framework, developers can build their tools cost effectively.

“One thing we have learned through Ecotrust’s evolution is that one-size-fits-all software solutions often fall short when it comes to supporting a decision-making process,” says Tim Welch, Ecotrust’s senior applications developer. “Instead, the most successful solutions provide a set of carefully chosen and arranged features that are tailored to the specific goal, process, audience, geography, and culture.”

Madrona tools should prove useful for sectors ranging from ocean and land-use planning, natural resource management, and urban and community planning, to energy, transportation, and health care.

Learn how Madrona is being used at


About Ecotrust
Ecotrust’s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems here and around the world. Over more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it takes inspiration from the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at

About Madrona
Madrona is a software platform that gives developers the building blocks to construct cutting-edge decision support tools. Madrona evolved from Ecotrust’s award-winning work in mapping and decision support for marine planning and conservation, and it has a wide array of applications, from urban and community planning to energy, transportation and health care. The software is supported by Ecotrust’s development team and is available free and open source. Learn more at