Organizaitonal Landscape Analysis

This project is an effort to understand the work of organizations to improve our environment in the Rochester Region. The definition of an “environmental organization” is shifting and an intersectional approach that recognizes the role of the social and natural environment in the work of many organizations is needed. The end result will be a publicly available database of organizations, a better understanding of what is being done to build a more sustainable and just community, and a research process that models community participation and engagement.

Ultimately we hope this project will lead to a more connected environmental movement locally, the application of resources in ways that lead to change for those that need it most, and a shared vision that has been developed and adopted by the community.

Final Report

Download a copy of our final report that articulates insights and next steps from surveys and interviews.


  • How can we create an equitable, inclusive, and collaborative local movement?
  • Who are the environmental organizations in the region and how do we identify them?
  • What are their priorities, core activities, strategies, and challenges?
  • How do local organizations define “environmental justice” and “sustainability” and “climate justice”?


In doing this work we aim to adhere to principles and practices that lead to just and equitable solutions. This begins with approaching things from a perspective where community members are equal partners in the research. We will use a broad definition of an environmental organization and an intersectional lens that will ensure equity and inclusivity. 

To better understand who is doing what, where they are doing it, and how they are doing it, a paid research team will use a reflective process of inquiry to establish methods of research. Proposed methods include document review, surveys, and interviews. Relationship building will be central to our approach. 

Project Outputs

This project will produce the following:

  1. Structures for implementing an equitable, inclusive, and collabvorative research process that is driven by best practices.
  2. A description of the movement we are engaging with that includes the concepts of sustaianbility, environmental justice, and climate justice.
  3. A publicly available database of organizations with basic information about their priorities, core activties, strategies, and challenges.
  4. An analysis of the priorities and challenges present in the data from organizations.
  5. A set of materials, printed and digital, that communicate hte key findings of the landscape analysis.

Project Benefits

Shared Definitions
  • Common framework for communication
  • Connect to larger movements nationally and globally
  • Easier to connect around the same issues or across issues
  • Easier to connect with resources
  • Highlight common challenges
  • Illuminate soultions that are working
  • Identify gaps and opportunities
Network Building
  • Collaborative Opportunities
  • Resource sharing

Project Origin

This project began as a conversation between the Rochester Ecology Partners (REP) Board of Directors and representatives from the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF). We recognized that a project like this would benefit both organizations as REP, a newly formed organizations seeks to understand where it fits into the ecosystem of local organizations and RACF builds a strategy around sustainability and environmental justice as a program area. For severl months a team of volunteers convend by REP, in collaboration with RACF, worked to develop a proposal for funding and launching the project. The Emil Muller foundation provided inital funding to launch the project. 

Project Team

Principal Investigators

  • Tonya Noel
  • Adrienne Perovich
  • Chris Widmaier

Research Design Team

  • Dr. Kathleeen Donovan
  • Ann Howard, JD
  • Dr. Jane Coggshall McConnochie

Advisory Committee

  • Calvin Eaton
  • Erin Turpin
  • Erin Budd Barry
  • Carter Remy
  • Nathan Hayes
  • Sally Howard
  • Julio Jordan


Anyone who is interested in getting involved or sharing their thoughts about this project can reach out to

We need:

  • Ideas and feedback about how this project can best benefit the community
  • Letters of support for the project
  • Potential research team members
  • Financial support in the form of grants and donations
  • Organizations that would like to be included in this project