Urban forest values and willingness to volunteer : a case study of New Westminster, Canada
Peerless, Sarah Joanne
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Many urban forests across North America are experiencing a rapid decline in canopy cover due to development, disease and climate change. Municipalities are developing management strategies to protect and grow existing canopy cover through tree planting and climate adaptation strategies which require public involvement to be successful. A case study of residents’ value for urban forests and their willingness to volunteer was conducted in New Westminster, Canada to understand how to engage the residents on stewardship programs. Data were collected through an online survey, interviews and secondary data sources. A mixed-methods analysis found that environmental, social, cultural, and health benefits were highly valued by residents while economic benefits were less important. Females, 30 to 44-year old’s, renters, and residents of multi-family buildings valued urban forest benefits the most and are willing to volunteer on flexible organized stewardship activities when values align, and social and personal needs are addressed.
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