Drivers of public participation in urban restoration stewardship programs: Linkages between environmental identity and knowledge, and motivations

Amanda E. Sorensen, Rebecca C. Jordan, Gloria Blaise, Jeff Brown, Lindsay K. Campbell, Myla F.J. Aronson, Michelle L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Environmental restoration projects are widely used as a means to reverse the degradation and damage done to an ecosystem by a range of different disturbances. Literature shows that engaging the public in restoration projects is important to long-term success; therefore, it is important to understand who participates in stewardship of these projects and why. Here, researchers investigate what aspects of individuals' environmental knowledge, environmental identity, demographics, views of and engagement in their community, and current civic stewardship might predict willingness to engage in restoration stewardship activities. This project takes place in the context of an ongoing maritime restoration planting experiment in the Jamaica Bay region of New York City, New York, U.S. The study authors developed a questionnaire with scales of the metrics above. Researchers found that individuals who were most willing to engage in environmental restoration stewardship had high sense of personal agency (i.e., their actions can have impact), saw value in their stewardship contributions for their community, were older, and were very knowledgeable about environmental issues. Additionally, the desire to preserve local biodiversity was not correlated with engagement in environmental restoration programs, whereas a desire to help and improve the local community was positively correlated. These results suggest a need to reframe how scientists and practitioners approach and discuss future restoration projects with community members to garner support for these types of programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-282
Number of pages17
JournalArboriculture and Urban Forestry
Volume44
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Ecology

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Civic science
  • New York City
  • Restoration
  • Stewardship
  • Urban ecology

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