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Benefits of urban landscape eco-volunteerism: mixed methods segmentation analysis and implications for volunteer retentionAuthor(s): Stanley T. Asah; Miku M. Lenetine; Dale J. Blahna
Source: Landscape and Urban Planning
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionUrban landscape restoration and conservation initiatives are challenged by financial and other constraints. Consequently, these initiatives are increasingly reliant on volunteer stewards. Knowledge of why people volunteer to restore and conserve urban ecosystems can help practitioners enhance volunteering as a social-ecological process that is mutually beneficial to landscapes and people. We included two open-ended questions about why people volunteer and what they perceive as benefits of volunteering, in a survey of volunteers for urban landscape restoration and conservation in Seattle, WA. Thematic and statistical analyses of volunteer motivations showed that volunteers expressed social psychological motivations more frequently than environmental reasons for volunteering.We also found that volunteers are not a monolithic group. There were statistically significant differences in the frequency of expression of volunteer motivations among respondent demographic segments. For example, women expressed the quest for positive emotions, as a motivation to volunteer, more often than men did. We illustrate how understanding volunteers’ motivations, expressed in their own words and from their own points of reference, can enhance voluntary social-ecological processes that mutually benefit people and urban landscapes.
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CitationAsah, Stanley T.; Lenetine, Miku M.; Blahna, Dale J. 2014. Benefits of urban landscape eco-volunteerism: mixed methods segmentation analysis and implications for volunteer retention. Landscape and Urban Planning. 123: 108-113.
KeywordsUrban restoration, Volunteer motivations, Conservation stewardship, Positive emotions, Community
- Motivational functionalism and urban conservation stewardship: implications for volunteer involvement
- Practical implications of understanding the influence of motivations on commitment to voluntary urban conservation stewardship
- Perception, acquisition and use of ecosystem services: human behavior, and ecosystem management and policy implications
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