What pathways do people take on the journey to stewardship and what rewards do they reap? Numerous studies emphasize the underlying values, whether moral, spiritual, or religious, which provide the foundation for engaging in environmental behavior. Yet, many cases of stewardship are founded not on lofty environmental ideals but on pragmatic, localized ambitions. As cities work to rectify historical inequities in access to environmental assets like trees and green spaces in low-income communities of color across the United States, it is important to understand the cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of environmental stewardship and the distinct pathways to stewardship. Understanding these can lead to policy and programmatic changes, helping city foresters and environmental advocacy groups better engage and serve marginalized communities. In this review, we use several cases from our work and others' to illustrate the possible barriers to engaging low-income communities and communities of color in environmental stewardship, how notions of identity, power, and agency impact the ways in which underserved communities respond to environmental issues, and finally, what paths stewards take in finding meaning in their work.