Navigation Links
Digging in dirt, Arbor Day planting, may help build citizenship: UMD study
Date:4/29/2011

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Digging in the ground to plant trees may be an excellent gateway to further involvement in politics and civic affairs, concludes a new University of Maryland study, based on work with New York City environmental volunteers.

"The more a person is involved in environmental stewardship, the more s/he engages with other types of civic and political activities," says the report, "Digging Together", which the researchers released to coincide with Arbor Day.

The study finds that participants in the MillionTreesNYC project are significantly more active civically than other New Yorkers and other Americans. This is especially true among the veteran volunteers, suggesting that environmental stewardship bears fruit in other civic arenas.

"Getting off the couch and doing a real activity is infectious and frequently leads to additional civic involvement," says Principal Investigator Dana R. Fisher, a University of Maryland sociologist who directs the new Center for Society and the Environment. "Digging in the dirt seems to be an excellent pathway to greater involvement."

Research has shown a general decline in political, social and civic involvement over the past couple decades, Fisher adds. "Environmental stewardship may prove to be something of an antidote, and our next step is to look more closely at this relationship."

Fisher and her team surveyed a random sample of hundreds of adult volunteers who came out to plant trees in four of New York City's five boroughs in the spring and fall of 2010. The MillionTreesNYC project is a public-private collaboration launched by New York City. It aims to plant a million trees throughout the city by 2017.

The survey reveals the New York volunteers to be atypical demographically compared to the general population - predominantly women, relatively young, and well-educated. Minorities are under-represented. The volunteers also tend to be more liberal than the general U.S. population. The researchers say this general pattern is consistent with national trends in voluntarism.

The vast majority were newcomers to environmental stewardship - roughly 80 percent. Most heard about the activities through their social networks, friends and families.

"City managers and civic groups are hungry for this information," says Erika Svendsen , a co-author of the report and a research social scientist with the U.S. Forest Service. "We've heard plenty of anecdotal stories of why people get involved, but we really haven't had the type of city-wide data we would like to better understand what motivates these people to take action."

Community-based programs around the nation can benefit from this kind of information, Svendsen adds.

"Although the results of this analysis of volunteer stewards in New York City provide some support for the claim that planting trees leads to better citizenship, more research is needed to understand the relationship between civic engagement and environmental stewardship. Future research will address this issue," the report states.


'/>"/>

Contact: Neil Tickner
ntickner@umd.edu
301-405-4622
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Leading research agencies announce new international competition: "The digging into data challenge"
2. Digging deep into diamonds, applied physicists advance quantum science and technology
3. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists trace a novel way cells are disrupted in cancer
4. Mercury pollution causes immune damage to harbor seals
5. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features organ and cell culture methods
6. Arbor Vita presents new data on cancer diagnostic at EUrogin
7. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features stem cell differentiation, plant RNAi methods
8. Protein function and chromatin structure methods featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
9. Basic guides to PCR, labeling neurons featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
10. Protein analysis methods, viral vectors featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
11. NOAA awards $22.5 million to Harbor Branch/FAU and UNCW for new cooperative institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Digging in dirt, Arbor Day planting, may help build citizenship: UMD study
(Date:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... to the new role of principal product architect ... named the director of customer development. Both will ... chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic ... in response to high customer demand and customer ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Global demand ... 4.6 percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This ... and beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, ... biotechnology, diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will ... driven by increasing consumption of products containing enzymes ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the ... today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both ... physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former senior vice ... University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June 27. , ... with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and participating in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: