Presentation Title

Shared space: Can landscaping influence homeowner attitudes about conservation and stewardship?

Abstract

The greater Portland metro area supports many large restoration sites, but with a growing population large areas for conservation and restoration are becoming scarcer. The geographical gaps between large restoration projects often consist of non-native landscaping and turf lawns, but could instead support native plant communities and greater biodiversity. Traditional thinking about residential or commercial landscaping presents a challenge and opportunity. We hope to leverage the property owner-landscape contractor relationship to expand habitat restoration and enhancement efforts into suburban and urban areas. To facilitate this process, we have sought client input on attitudes about and understanding of native plants, habitat, pollinators, and wildlife in backyards and campuses both before and after project installation. Because landscape design involves a back-and-forth with clients, it presents a unique chance to address an individual’s perspective, questions and level of information. Additionally, we believe that having a personal stake in a small-scale restoration project will bolster positive attitudes towards conservation and restoration. We designed a survey to administer to clients pre- and post- project to assess how they prioritized native plants and wildlife habitat on their private property. We also asked them to rate their interest in and knowledge of broader conservation topics. In pilot surveys done before project installation, most clients (66%) expressed an interest in supporting pollinators and wildlife. This poster will include an overview of results from pilot surveys and a description of the methods we are using to collect data, as well as those that will be used for analysis.

Subjects

Habitat restoration, Sustainable development, Environmental social sciences

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Shared space: Can landscaping influence homeowner attitudes about conservation and stewardship?

The greater Portland metro area supports many large restoration sites, but with a growing population large areas for conservation and restoration are becoming scarcer. The geographical gaps between large restoration projects often consist of non-native landscaping and turf lawns, but could instead support native plant communities and greater biodiversity. Traditional thinking about residential or commercial landscaping presents a challenge and opportunity. We hope to leverage the property owner-landscape contractor relationship to expand habitat restoration and enhancement efforts into suburban and urban areas. To facilitate this process, we have sought client input on attitudes about and understanding of native plants, habitat, pollinators, and wildlife in backyards and campuses both before and after project installation. Because landscape design involves a back-and-forth with clients, it presents a unique chance to address an individual’s perspective, questions and level of information. Additionally, we believe that having a personal stake in a small-scale restoration project will bolster positive attitudes towards conservation and restoration. We designed a survey to administer to clients pre- and post- project to assess how they prioritized native plants and wildlife habitat on their private property. We also asked them to rate their interest in and knowledge of broader conservation topics. In pilot surveys done before project installation, most clients (66%) expressed an interest in supporting pollinators and wildlife. This poster will include an overview of results from pilot surveys and a description of the methods we are using to collect data, as well as those that will be used for analysis.