Proposed Abstract Title

A Tale of Two Yard Care Programs: Lectures and Lawn Coaches

Presenter/Author Information

Ann Marie Pearce Mrs., Thurston CountyFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Moving beyond education and outreach to behavior change

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Lawn care education can be very hands-off or very hands-on. In order to ascertain whether or not there may be distinct differences in behavior change based on education methods, Thurston County, Washington partnered with sixteen local jurisdictions in the Puget Sound region to implement two different natural yard care education programs in 2014. Both programs were designed to improve local water quality by reducing pollutants associated with conventional residential yard care practices.

The North Sound program was implemented by Snohomish County, in partnership with thirteen cities. This program consisted of a three-part evening lecture series given by landscape professionals with presentations covering a variety of natural yard care topics.

The South Sound program was implemented by Thurston County and the Cities of Olympia and Tumwater. This program focused on reducing nutrient and pesticide runoff resulting from traditional lawn care practices. The hands-on program consisted of two home visits with professional lawn care “coaches” and a lawn care demonstration workshop. Participants also received slow release fertilizer, lime, and lawn aeration incentives.

The evaluation was designed to statistically assess the adoption rate of recommended yard care practices for both programs. In addition, the effectiveness for both programs was qualitatively compared. Participant surveys were administered before, during, and after program delivery. Both approaches resulted in significant behavior change in many of the targeted practices. This suggests that both programs used effective program models that were well implemented. The “hands-on” South Sound program addressed fewer yard care practices, but achieved higher behavior change in the targeted practices. The “hands-off” North Sound program addressed many more yard care practices and was approximately half the cost of the South Sound program. The evaluation of these two programs can help entities select education methods that lead to behavior change in yard care practices within their allotted budgets.

Comments

The final evaluation for these two programs will be completed by December 31, 2015.

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A Tale of Two Yard Care Programs: Lectures and Lawn Coaches

2016SSEC

Lawn care education can be very hands-off or very hands-on. In order to ascertain whether or not there may be distinct differences in behavior change based on education methods, Thurston County, Washington partnered with sixteen local jurisdictions in the Puget Sound region to implement two different natural yard care education programs in 2014. Both programs were designed to improve local water quality by reducing pollutants associated with conventional residential yard care practices.

The North Sound program was implemented by Snohomish County, in partnership with thirteen cities. This program consisted of a three-part evening lecture series given by landscape professionals with presentations covering a variety of natural yard care topics.

The South Sound program was implemented by Thurston County and the Cities of Olympia and Tumwater. This program focused on reducing nutrient and pesticide runoff resulting from traditional lawn care practices. The hands-on program consisted of two home visits with professional lawn care “coaches” and a lawn care demonstration workshop. Participants also received slow release fertilizer, lime, and lawn aeration incentives.

The evaluation was designed to statistically assess the adoption rate of recommended yard care practices for both programs. In addition, the effectiveness for both programs was qualitatively compared. Participant surveys were administered before, during, and after program delivery. Both approaches resulted in significant behavior change in many of the targeted practices. This suggests that both programs used effective program models that were well implemented. The “hands-on” South Sound program addressed fewer yard care practices, but achieved higher behavior change in the targeted practices. The “hands-off” North Sound program addressed many more yard care practices and was approximately half the cost of the South Sound program. The evaluation of these two programs can help entities select education methods that lead to behavior change in yard care practices within their allotted budgets.