Green Infrastructure Summit 2020 Hindsight

At Stewardship Partners we are always thinking about the ways we can change our world. Over the last 5 years of convening the Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit, we have learned a lot about the intersection between environmental and social issues. We have tried to center racial equity and social justice in this community and make green infrastructure a tool for improving the most impacted environments first and foremost. This year, we adapted to a global pandemic and brought forward 9 virtual panel discussions over 4 weeks. We covered big ideas and impacts that go way beyond water alone. Topics of discussion included incentives, education, communication, trees, authentic community engagement, racial equity in green infrastructure and we shined a spotlight on innovative leadership in the south Puget Sound.

Looking back on those discussions and the amazing people leading them and looking ahead to the incredible challenges in front of us, it is this collaborative group of brilliant and compassionate people that gives us hope. Our community is poised to respond and is responding right now. The green infrastructure community is building innovative new systems, both social and physical, that account for what might be downstream.

Solutions that simultaneously improve social equity and environmental quality must be a part of our path forward. As the nation and the world look for ways to recover and rebuild, there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in better solutions that meet that challenge, and many of those ideas can be found in the recorded summit sessions here. From every sector and across the region, these are many of the leaders who are already making it happen. Recovering from the current overlapping crises is, by definition, not a matter of going back to the way things were. It is a matter of restoring justice for our communities and restoring the natural systems on which we all depend.

We are immensely grateful to all 53 speakers, 336 attendees, our sponsors, our amazing host committee, advisory committee, Cascadia Consulting and Stewardship Partners teams. Thank you all for helping us lead the first virtual Summit!

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