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Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 27

NYC Urban Field Station STEW-MAP

Stewardship Story Mapping: Share Your Story!

Carmen Bouyer

New York City Urban Field Station – US Forest Service

One of sixteen projects in the 2018 exhibition Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator.

Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 20

Photo: John Maggiotto

This project was initiated by STEW-MAP (Laura Landau, Lindsay Campbell, Erika Svendsen, and Michelle Johnson). Artist Carmen Bouyer was recruited to help design and produce an activity that allows individuals to connect with their own personal stewardship stories, and link to the larger efforts of STEW-MAP.

The stewardship story mapping exercise is an interactive storytelling and brainstorming activity. Developed in collaboration with artist Carmen Bouyer, the exercise is designed to challenge how we think about our relationship to the environment. Using a card deck of examples for inspiration, participants are asked to think of a time when they served as stewards by taking care of the local environment, from growing food in their community garden to participating in a waterfront cleanup. Participants can share a story by writing it down or drawing a picture of the memory on a piece of paper, and then locate their story on the New York City map to indicate where it took place. The resulting map captures people’s stewardship stories and broadens our shared understanding of what it means to take care of the environment.

This mapping activity is inspired by STEW-MAP (the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project), a map and searchable database of organizations designed to help understand and strengthen our civic capacity to take care of our neighborhoods. It is based on the idea that civic groups and social networks are a crucial part of the lifeblood of the city. If you would like us to lead the stewardship story mapping activity at your next event, please email