At Ecotrust, many of our programs and projects have spanned a decade or more. Looking back over the past ten years, we can see evidence for how our work has progressed: relationships strengthened, research shared, partnerships formed toward common cause, and triple-bottom-line intersections explored.
So often we review progress from the viewpoint of the past year. But the perspective of the past decade holds an important reminder of the time it takes to make lasting, impactful progress. Looking back, we can more clearly track the course of the changes we seek, revisit success, and identify opportunities to course-correct for impact in the decade ahead.
Click through the timelines below to see how we worked to create a more vivid picture of climate impacts here at home; how deep listening led to new work in green jobs; how our investments in infrastructure contribute to regional resilience; and how lasting commitments have made farm to school a study in the power of relationships.
In 2010, NASA released a report showing that the previous 10 years had been the warmest on record. What we know now is that the newly-documented high watermark was just the launchpad for another record-breaking decade. As the effects of climate change rolled out across the globe, our team began building a new baseline of understanding for a regional response.
Green Jobs and Equity
Still rebounding from a national economic recession, the 2010s prompted a dialogue on the need for more resilient local economies and to ask: “When investments are made in a new economy, who benefits?” Through collaborative research, we found opportunities to better understand sustainable economies and center equity by investing in ecosystem restoration in urban communities. This body of work has given rise to a current collaborative of community organizations with a mission to build economic resilience through green jobs creation.
The supportive structures, seen and unseen, that directly affect the ways we live, interact with each other, and circulate goods can either hinder or enable resilience. Similarly, investments in infrastructure can reinforce inequity or become a vehicle for change. Over the past decade, we investigated how the loss of infrastructure affects regional producers, made informed investments to reverse the trend, and analyzed the impacts of urban green infrastructure—how it can better benefit communities and the environment.
Farm to School
Farm to School has been a cornerstone of our Food and Farms work for the past decade. On the outset, Farm to School aimed to improve school lunches and provide better nutrition for students to learn and grow. As we delved deeper, our contributions shaped Farm to School in the region by nourishing partnerships between schools, farmers, food businesses, and food system advocates—helping illustrate the power and potential for driving regional food system change through institutional food buying.