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Title: Benefits of urban landscape eco-volunteerism: mixed methods segmentation analysis and implications for volunteer retention

Author: Asah, Stanley T.; Lenetine, Miku M.; Blahna, Dale J.;

Date: 2014

Source: Landscape and Urban Planning

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Urban 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.

Keywords: Urban restoration, Volunteer motivations, Conservation stewardship, Positive emotions, Community

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Asah, 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.


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