Conservation gardening incorporates environmentally friendly techniques into the care of urban landscapes. Prior research has demonstrated an ecological benefit of this approach to residential land management. This research was undertaken to better understand the individuals who partake in conservation gardening. A mail questionnaire was developed that included several connection to nature indicators, an outdoor recreation inventory, and demographic questions. Participants (n = 180) included individuals from three regional conservation gardening certification programs in the US. Study participants demonstrated high connection to nature across multiple indicators, and environmental concern was motivated by non-human species and other people as opposed to personal benefit. The connection to nature indicators employed in the study demonstrated high correlation with each other. Conservation gardeners were active in outdoor recreation; high participation rates were documented in the categories of bird watching, gardening, and hiking, with moderate participation rates in kayaking, and cycling. Several demographic trends were evident in the study population. Participants tended to be older, well-educated, above-average earners, pet owners, and the majority of individuals were female. Employment status of participants was divided equally among being a homemaker, working full-time or being self-employed, and being retired, and over half of the individuals in the survey were volunteers. This research established baseline data for the conservation gardening population, identified avenues for future research, and provided suggestions for reaching populations not currently represented in the conservation gardening community.
|Commitee:||Chalquist, Craig, Shorb, Terril, Tallamy, Douglas|
|Department:||Education and Sustainability Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental philosophy, Conservation, Sustainability|
|Keywords:||Connection to nature, Conservation gardening, Conservation psychology, Human-nature relationship, Outdoor recreation|
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