The Groundwork Project


Economics for Peace Institute encourages communities to establish baseline indicators of community well-being and ecosystem stewardship for the purposes of planning, implementation and evaluation.

We are running a two-year (2022, 2023) pilot study for Callam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties.

You may participate in the North Olympic Peninsula pilot study in a range of ways.

We encourage you to coordinate an introduction and community research sessions. Our crew can support outreach either in person or online. When possible, outdoor gatherings around a campfire or picnic table are a wonderful option – when weather conditions permit.

During Earth Day week, we offer introductions and Q&A online or in person at the Chimacum Grange.

On Wednesdays at the Grange, we are including online hybrid participation options through our video portal. Contact us for password. We will also offer online sessions for the full week of April 18 in the evenings

The Chimacum Grange is a relatively central meeting place in the pilot study area. Other locations in the works with your help! We welcome your assistance with the footwork on outreach and coordinating other meeting places around the study area.

We are looking for more locations across the study area in which to have research meetups. We can start with presentations and Q&A. Be in touch.

Following the Community Celebration of Common Ground Earth Day Jam on Friday, April 22, we will also offer two culminating research and dialogue sessions at the Chimacum Grange on Saturday, April 23. Details in online calendar forthcoming.

The North Olympic Peninsula Groundwork Project is an ongoing two-year pilot study. We will resume research in Fall 2022, and again early 2023. Each session offers the opportunity to expand research to include more people; and to calibrate and refine our findings in a participatory way. The Groundwork Project is a framework for research that is iterative and adaptive.

The Institute conducts outreach in other bioregions to encourage understanding and increase landscape scale effectiveness. We will plan to replicate and continue to refine methods and process.

The Institute introduces and supports the spread of social fieldwork by locals and planners. The focus of our work is strengths-based and positive. We draw on appreciative inquiry to energize long-range action. Social fieldwork and participatory action research is community research similar to citizen science and place-based research. In our application, social fieldwork is participatory research to inform evaluation of local programs and planning decisions.

What is Social Fieldwork and how is it related to The Groundwork Project?

The central purpose of social fieldwork is to gather locally-source, first-hand information to inform better public decisions.

  • Do the community building to make sustainability a reality in your place-based community.
  • Unite your understanding with others across perceived divides to identify common ground.

Through social fieldwork, communities can come together to protect and nourish what matters most in the places where you live and for the people you care about. You can be part of ensuring sound practice to inform local planning and to unite our understanding across many divides. Doing the groundwork takes time and must be in place prior to engaging on an issue or proposal that may positively or negatively affect the community. Some proposals and programs do a bit of both. By developing grassroots indicators, better information is available for planners in making public decisions and in developing programming.

This is the local people study. The focus is describing the characteristics of community well-being and ecosystem stewardship that we hold in common. What matters most? In this way, public decisions may be informed by direct communication and dialogue to identify the essentials in our day-to-day life in community and in relationship to the natural resources and all that sustains life.

We share resources, goods and services in everyday life. The management of that process of exchange requires good information in order to achieve sustainability. Lack of housing, mental health issues, apathy, ecological failures are indicative of not keeping our house in order collectively. Economics at its root is the care and handling our home. We all live on planet earth. Right?

Managing a planet cannot be achieved through centralized, command and control – no matter how technologically advanced. Complexity of the density of biodiversity is not replicable on digitized binary systems. It requires the eyes and ears of local people through refined forms of citizen science that include the social sciences. This is where social fieldwork fills the gap in information and sets the record straight on what is misinformation and what is not.

Note: 4/19/22 – This page is in the process of being rebuilt to ease access to content and create an interface for online input. We expect to have the updated site completed by the end of April, if not sooner.

Locals as locals


Online Questionnaire

Conversation Circle or Meet Up

Attend an Introduction and Q&A

Talk with friends and family about how best to describe community well-being and ecosystem stewaredship.


Local research leads/coordinators

House Party

Event at a Community Center

Event at a Grange

Introduction and Q&A

Community Dialogue Event

hosting house parties,

coordinating a group in which you invited neighbors or friends with support,

or establish a research site in your area.

We are also looking for sites in Clallam and Kitsap counties.

Timeline – The last two years.

Developing “Grange as Research and Sustainable Economic Development Hub” for Social Fieldwork

On February 12, 2020, at a regular meeting of the Chimacum Grange, we introduced our prototypical first year study in community-based research. We received the green light to begin at Chimacum Grange. Fieldwork and trainings were set to begin March 15. We placed the following poster around Port Townsend about “Unite our Understanding” and received supportive feedback. We provided a well-attended introduction at the Jefferson County Library as covid-19 set in and the need to minimize contagion began.


We began in December 2021 with Wednesday drop in gatherings. Initial project results will be presented to the general community in Spring 2023. We will work towards a baseline of sustainability indicators.

We invite you to join us in activities of the “Grange as Hub” for social fieldwork, a proto-typical framework for building momentum for reflective community, place-based research. We are conducting a regional social fieldwork training and a first year study for individuals in Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam counties. Local community members join in bi-weekly practice in the skills to strengthen capacity for interactive discourse with purpose.

The simultaneous training and research will be in a participatory workshop format. Each session will support experiential hands-on practice in reflective dialogue and participatory conversations that matter. There will be mini-training modules to provide guidance and practice in i.appreciative inquiry, ii.participatory research, and iii. accurate and participatory recording.

Coaching support is available at no cost to participants who wish to lead Groundwork Project activities in their area with a focus on sustainability indicators.

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