Science Inventory

Self-Reported Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Stewardship Organizations and Their Activities in Southeast New England, USA

Citation:

Merkle, C., B. DuBois, J. Sayles, L. Carlson, H. Spalding, B. Myers, AND S. Kaipa. Self-Reported Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Stewardship Organizations and Their Activities in Southeast New England, USA. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. Frontiers, Lausanne, Switzerland, 3:772880, (2022). https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2021.772880

Impact/Purpose:

The Covid-19 pandemic has had numerous impacts on society, affecting people's personal and professional lives. To date, researchers have not looked at how the pandemic has impacted environmental stewardship, an important set of environmental activities in a given region, which includes activities such as environmental advocacy, education, monitoring, management, restoration, and sharing of traditional knowledge. This research analyzes how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted groups doing environmental stewardship in Southeastern New England. Groups provided an open-ended response about Covid-19’s impacts on their stewardship work as part of a larger survey about local and regional stewardship practices. Responses were qualitatively analyzed and show changes in groups’ capacities to engage in stewardship, challenges in managing access to public green spaces, and altered forms of volunteer engagement. These results provide insights into the varied effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and government responses such as stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies on stewardship that can inform the development of programs to reduce negative outcomes and enhance emerging capacities and innovations. This work will interest people engaged in environmental stewardship or studying stewardship or societal impacts of Covid-19. It will also be of interest to people involved with environmental governance or management in Southeastern New England. 

Description:

In many communities, regions, or landscapes, there are numerous environmental groups working across different sectors and creating stewardship networks that shape the environment and the benefits people derive from it. The make-up of these networks can vary, but generally include organizations of different sizes and capacities. As the Covid-19 pandemic (2020 to the present) shuts down businesses and nonprofits, catalyzes new initiatives, and generally alters the day-to-day professional and personal lives, it is logical to assume that these stewardship networks and their environmental work are impacted; exactly how, is unknown. In this study, we analyze the self-reported effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on stewardship groups working in southeast New England, USA. Stewardship organizations were surveyed from November 2020 to April 2021 and asked, among other questions, “How is Covid-19 affecting your organization?” We analyzed responses using several qualitative coding approaches. Our analysis revealed group-level impacts including changes in group capacity, challenges in managing access to public green spaces, and altered forms of volunteer engagement. These results provide insights into the varied effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and government responses such as stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies on stewardship that can inform the development of programs to reduce negative outcomes and enhance emerging capacities and innovations.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( JOURNAL/ PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 01/06/2022
Record Last Revised: 01/24/2022
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 353974