WHY PEOPLE HELP: MOTIVATIONS AND BARRIERS FOR STEWARDSHIP VOLUNTEERING by Veronica Wahl H.B.Sc., The University of Toronto, 1996 M.E.S., York University, 2003 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) February 2010 © Veronica Wahl 2009 Abstract Community-based environmental stewardship organizations (or ‘stewardship groups’) provide vital opportunities for individuals to become involved in local environmental issues and to help rehabilitate local habitats. Community members, in turn, provide vital volunteer support to stewardship groups. The main purpose of this research is to contribute to the literature on motivations and barriers for stewardship volunteering, and in doing so support the work of environmental stewardship organizations by making recommendations on strategies to increase participation while avoiding the barriers for this type of volunteering. A second, and minor, purpose of the research is to examine theories that relate environmental citizenship and stewardship volunteering. Firsthand knowledge on a variety of aspects of stewardship volunteering was gained through a survey of the volunteers in eleven stewardship groups based in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. Coordinator interviews provided information that supplemented the survey data. Findings from the study indicate stewardship volunteers are generally not strongly motivated by reasons that one might expect from the general volunteering literature. Instead, stewardship volunteers seem most likely to become involved in their groups’ activities through the ‘big four’ environmental motivators of: i) accomplishment, ii) group solidarity, iii) learning and skills, and iv) personal welfare. ii Additionally, the volunteers in this study were generally more constrained by personal factors, like feeling unappreciated, than by more practical matters, like difficulty reaching the worksites. Finally, the enjoyment of the activities seems to play a key role in the development of an environmental ethic in hands on stewardship volunteers. Based on the research findings, a number of recommendations are made to stewardship group coordinators and beyond-group supporters, like umbrella organizations and governmental agencies, as well as to the volunteers themselves. The dissertation also contains a list of ‘serendipitous’ findings, an outline of research limitations, and suggestions for future research. This research makes several contributions. The main one is to both the literature and to the ‘on the ground’ management of stewardship volunteers. It is the proposition of the ‘big four’ motivators that may act as the basis for a model of volunteer motivations in an environmental context. iii Table of Contents Abstract .................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents.................................................................................................... iv List of Tables......................................................................................................... viii List of Figures ......................................................................................................... ix Preface...................................................................................................................... x Acknowledgements ............................................................................................... xv Dedication............................................................................................................. xvii 1 – Opening Remarks...........................................................................1 1.1 – Issue Statement .............................................................................................. 1 1.2 – Dissertation Outline ........................................................................................ 2 1.3 – Research Relevance ....................................................................................... 4 1.4 – A Look at the ‘Forest’ - Research Context.................................................... 6 1.4.1 – The Deep Roots of Environmentalism ........................................................ 7 1.4.2 – Environmentalism in Canada – A Struggle for Balance .............................. 8 1.5 – ENGOs: A Look at the ‘Trees’ – Research Focus ...................................... 16 1.5.1 – Stewardship – A Wide Range of Activities................................................ 16 1.5.2 – Environmental Organizations – A Wide Range of Groups........................ 17 1.5.3 – Community-Based Environmental Stewardship Organizations – Narrowing It Down ..................................................................................................... 17 1.5.4 – Stewardship Groups in this Study – The Final Definition.......................... 21 1.6 – Research Purpose and Objectives .............................................................. 21 1.6.1 – Research Purpose.................................................................................... 21 1.6.2 – Research Objectives ................................................................................ 22 1.7 – Research Questions ..................................................................................... 22 1.7.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer?.. 23 1.7.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities?........ 23 1.7.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do? . 23 1.7.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? ............................................................................................................................. 24 1.7.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? ............................................................................................................................. 24 1.7.6 – RQ 6: Which Variables Detract from or Deter Participation? .................... 25 1.7.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship? ...... 26 1.8 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead ....................................................................... 27 2 – Setting the Context.......................................................................29 2.1 – Chapter 2 Outline .......................................................................................... 29 2.2 – Overview of the Literature Used .................................................................. 30 2.3 – Picking and Choosing .................................................................................. 32 2.4 – Volunteering – A Complex Process of Rewarding, Unpaid Work............. 35 iv 2.5 – Participatory Personality.............................................................................. 36 2.6 – Motivations for Helping Behaviours............................................................ 38 2.6.1 – From the Good of Their Hearts – Values and Helping Behaviours........... 39 2.6.2 – Social Dimensions of Helping Behaviours ................................................ 44 2.6.3 – Understanding – A Poorly Named Function ............................................. 52 2.6.4 – What Finer Work… – Accomplishment and Environmental Volunteering . 55 2.6.5 – Just for the Fun of It – Personal Welfare and Environmental Volunteering ............................................................................................................................. 57 2.6.6 – Summary of Environmental Volunteering Motivations .............................. 58 2.6.6 – Other and Sundry ..................................................................................... 64 2.7 – Barriers to Helping Behaviours ................................................................... 68 2.7.1 – Individual Barriers to Participation ............................................................ 69 2.7.2 – Group-Related Barriers to Participation.................................................... 71 2.7.3 – Task-Related Barriers to Participation ...................................................... 73 2.8 – Environmental Volunteering and Citizenship............................................. 74 2.9 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead ....................................................................... 77 3 – Methodology .................................................................................80 3.1 – Research Design........................................................................................... 80 3.2 – Population of Interest ................................................................................... 80 3.3 – The Partnering Stewardship Organizations................................................ 81 3.3.1 – Finding the Partnering Groups ................................................................. 81 3.3.2 – Characterizing the Study Groups ............................................................. 83 3.3.3 – Representativeness of the Partnering Organizations ............................... 86 3.4 – Coordinator Interviews ................................................................................. 89 3.4.1 – Purpose of the Interviews ......................................................................... 89 3.4.2 – Structure of the Interviews........................................................................ 91 3.5 – Participant Surveys ...................................................................................... 91 3.5.1 – Purpose of the Surveys ............................................................................ 91 3.5.2 – Survey Structure....................................................................................... 92 3.6 – Responding to the Research Questions – Operationalization of Variables ................................................................................................................................. 93 3.6.1 – RQ 1: Characterizing ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteers ........................... 93 3.6.2 – RQ 2: Involvement in The Groups’ Activities ............................................ 95 3.6.3 – RQ 3: Additional Activities ........................................................................ 95 3.6.4 – RQ 4: Levels of Commitment ................................................................... 96 3.6.5 – RQ 5: Factors Encouraging and Enhancing Participation......................... 96 3.6.6 – RQ 6: Factors Detracting from or Deterring Participation ....................... 100 3.6.7 – RQ 7: Environmental Citizenship and Stewardship ................................ 101 3.7 – Survey Administration................................................................................ 104 3.7.1 – Administration Overview......................................................................... 104 3.7.2 – Dealing with Concerns Specific to Online Survey Research .................. 105 3.8 – Survey Sampling......................................................................................... 107 3.8.1 – Onsite Sampling ..................................................................................... 107 3.8.2 – Online Sampling ..................................................................................... 107 3.9 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead ..................................................................... 108 v 4 – Analyses And Results................................................................109 4.1 –Chapter 4 Outline ......................................................................................... 109 4.2 – Response Rates .......................................................................................... 110 4.3 – Statistical Tests and Analyses................................................................... 111 4.4 – Responding to the Research Questions ................................................... 114 4.4.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer? 114 4.4.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities?...... 123 4.4.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do?137 4.4.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? ........................................................................................................................... 139 4.4.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? ........................................................................................................................... 144 4.4.6 – RQ 6: Which Variables Detract from or Deter Participation? .................. 167 4.4.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Volunteering Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship?............................................................................................ 177 4.5 – A Brief Recap and a Look Ahead............................................................... 185 5 – Discussions, Conclusions, and Recommendations ................187 5.1 – Chapter 5 Outline ........................................................................................ 187 5.2 – Responding to the Research Questions ................................................... 188 5.2.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer? 188 5.2.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities?...... 190 5.2.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do?191 5.2.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? ........................................................................................................................... 192 5.2.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? ........................................................................................................................... 197 5.2.6 – RQ 6: Which Factors Detract from or Deter Participation? ..................... 211 5.2.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship? .... 218 5.3 – Recommendations for Stewardship Group Coordinators....................... 222 5.3.1 – Recruitment Messaging.......................................................................... 222 5.3.2 – Recruitment Practicalities ....................................................................... 224 5.3.3 – Maintaining Support................................................................................ 229 5.3.4 – Reducing Barriers – The Case of Demographics ................................... 235 5.3.5 – Supporting the Indoor Workers............................................................... 241 5.4 – Recommendations for Those Who Support the Community-Based Groups ......................................................................................................... 243 5.4.1 – Funding and Resources ......................................................................... 243 5.4.2 – Supporting Recruitment and Maintenance of Volunteer Support............ 251 5.5 – Recommendations for Stewardship Volunteers ...................................... 254 5.5.1 – Attend When Your Schedule Allows It .................................................... 254 5.5.2 – Share Your Thoughts and Ideas............................................................. 255 5.5.3 – Honesty Is the Best Policy...................................................................... 257 5.6 – Limitations of the Study ............................................................................. 259 vi 5.6.1 – Concerns about the Respondents .......................................................... 259 5.6.2 – Limitations in Methodology ..................................................................... 260 5.7 – Serendipitous Findings and Ideas............................................................. 261 5.7.1 – Volunteering as a Charitable Tax Deduction .......................................... 261 5.7.2 – Stewardship Olympics ............................................................................ 262 5.7.3 – Stewardship as a Group Bonding Experience ........................................ 262 5.7.4 – Stewardship ‘Match-Making’................................................................... 263 5.7.5 – Stewardship as a Mechanism of Hope ................................................... 264 5.8 – Future Research.......................................................................................... 265 5.9 – Research Contributions ............................................................................. 266 5.10 – The Final Word .......................................................................................... 267 References............................................................................................................ 269 Appendices........................................................................................................... 286 vii List of Tables Table 2.1 Summary of Volunteer Function and Volunteer Motivation Inventories.... 34 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations .................................. 59 Table 3.1 Characteristics of the Study Groups......................................................... 86 Table 3.2 Study Groups vs. B.C. Groups – Characteristics Comparisons ............... 88 Table 3.3 Operationalization of Survey Variables to Respond to Research Questions ........................................................................................................................ 103 Table 4.1 Comparison of Study and Regional Demographics ............................... 121 Table 4.2 Participation in Hands On Activities ....................................................... 127 Table 4.3 Participation in Administrative Activities ................................................. 128 Table 4.4 Participation in Outreach Activities......................................................... 130 Table 4.5 Participation in Other Activities .............................................................. 131 Table 4.6 Motivation Factor Loadings and Communalities .................................... 148 Table 4.7 Significant Motivations and Tenure ........................................................ 151 Table 4.8 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Hands On Frequency and Enjoyment................................................................................................ 152 Table 4.9 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Administrative Frequency....................................................................................................... 154 Table 4.10 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Outreach Enjoyment ........................................................................................................................ 155 Table 4.11 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Priority Ratings ...... 156 Table 4.12 Differences in Mean Motivational Ratings by Ethnicity......................... 157 Table 4.13 Effects on Motivational Ratings by Number of Children at Home......... 157 Table 4.14 Constraint Factor Loadings and Communalities .................................. 170 Table 4.15 Significant Constraints and Tenure ...................................................... 172 Table 4.16 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Hands On Frequency and Enjoyment................................................................................................ 172 Table 4.17 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Outreach Enjoyment ........................................................................................................................ 174 Table 4.18 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Priority Ratings ...... 174 Table 4.19 Mean Ratings for Hands On Volunteers’ Emotional Responses to the Worksites ........................................................................................................ 178 Table 4.20 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Emotional Response Ratings .......................................................................................... 179 Table 4.21 Mean Hands On Volunteer Ratings for Reactions to Negative Worksite Changes ......................................................................................................... 180 Table 4.22 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Reactions to Negative Change ............................................................................................ 182 Table 4.23 Frequency of Environmentally Friendly Behaviours by Hands On Volunteers....................................................................................................... 183 Table 4.24 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Environmentally Friendly Behaviours.............................................................. 184 viii List of Figures Figure 4.1 Respondent Ages ................................................................................. 115 Figure 4.2 Personal Incomes ................................................................................. 119 Figure 4.3 Household Incomes .............................................................................. 120 Figure 4.4 Number of Listings by Activity Category ............................................... 133 Figure 4.5 Overall Mean Frequency of Participation by Activity Category ............. 134 Figure 4.6 Overall Mean Enjoyment Ratings by Activity Category ......................... 135 Figure 4.7 Volunteers’ Mean Motivational Item Ratings......................................... 146 Figure 4.8 Scree Plot for Motivational Factor Analyses ......................................... 147 Figure 4.9 Greatest Satisfaction or Reward ........................................................... 160 Figure 4.10 How to Thank...................................................................................... 163 Figure 4.11 Volunteers’ Mean Constraint Item Ratings.......................................... 168 Figure 4.12 Scree Plot for Constraint Factor Analyses .......................................... 169 ix Preface In doing this study, I have found it impossible to approach the work from the perspective of a ‘dispassionate researcher’. Instead, my background experiences have led me to approach stewardship organizations with a strong appreciation for the work that they do and a deep belief that this work should be supported. Similarly, I did not approach the question of gaining and maintaining volunteer support for these groups as a purely academic exercise but from a genuine wish to produce data and recommendations that would be useful ‘on the ground’ to those managing and supporting the work of stewardship organizations. Although the work for this dissertation ‘officially’ began in the fall of 2003 when I moved from Ontario to British Columbia to start my doctoral work in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, the inception for the study was found several years before that. Indeed, this work began even before the start of my master’s program. It all originated in the late 1990s when I began volunteering regularly with two environmental organizations, FrogWatch Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. I enjoyed this volunteering so much that it eventually led to a complete career change, including quitting my job and returning to school to complete a Master of Environmental Studies degree at York University. My work at York University led me to become involved in a variety of environmental organizations from advocacy groups, like Save the Oak Ridges Moraine to those x working in cooperation with government, like the Humber River Alliance. In total, I was a member of eleven of environmental organizations at various levels of activity from ‘interested but not active member’ in some to a fully active volunteer who attended as many workdays and meetings as possible in others. I participated most often in the hands on stewardship groups, because I really enjoyed being a part of amazing teams of individuals doing amazing things in the natural environment – motivations that I have since learned that made me somewhat typical of stewardship volunteers. While studying at York University, I completed an independent study as an unpaid intern with the Black Creek Conservation Project of Toronto (BCP), the group that became the case study for my master’s thesis, and which generously shared with me many lessons on the functioning and management of stewardship groups. While maintaining membership and activity with other environmental groups after graduation, I was hired as the Assistant Coordinator for the BCP, as well as for another stewardship group, the Friends of Highland Creek. However, despite my participation in almost every way possible with stewardship and other environmental organizations - as an inactive member, an active volunteer, an academic researcher, and a paid staff person - one question remained that seemed insufficiently answered, that of gaining and maintaining volunteer support for environmental organizations. Although abundant resources seemed available on volunteer management, these resources largely seemed to ignore the xi environmental sector and generally provided more frustration than sound advice for those of us managing volunteers in stewardship organizations. I approached my doctoral work largely to answer the outstanding question of generating volunteer support for stewardship groups. I also approached my doctoral work largely from the perspective that to answer this question, one must really get to know the volunteers and those who support them. Soon, I found myself once again involved in the work of a variety of environmental organizations, though this time it was almost entirely as a ‘fully’, or at least ‘sporadically’ active volunteer in a number of stewardship organizations in Metro Vancouver. I eventually recruited eleven of these groups to participate in my study. While working on this dissertation, I have also spoken to numerous stewardship volunteers and group coordinators, as well as ‘experts’ associated with beyond-group supporters, like government and umbrella organizations. These discussions occurred both formally, through coordinator interviews (which are outlined more fully in Chapter 3, beginning on page 89) and informally through onsite chats with those at workdays, meetings, conferences, and other gatherings of stewardship supporters. Meeting these groups, stewardship coordinators, and supporters, and especially the stewardship volunteers in my ‘new’ home in B.C. has reinforced the incredible nature of this type of work and of the people who do it. I have gained a profound respect and admiration for those who give up time – usually early on a weekend morning – to perform the often strenuous work of helping local ecosystems. I have xii also grown stronger in my wish to do research that will contribute in a positive way to the efforts of these people and organizations. Although I have not approached this work from the ‘arms length’ perspective of a ‘typical’ researcher, I have always maintained my wish that my research will to lead to the development of useful tools for stewardship volunteer managers. Therefore, rather than allowing my strongly positive feelings for stewardship groups to cloud my judgement in forming my discussions, conclusions, and recommendations, I have used my experiences and firsthand knowledge of stewardship volunteering to support the interpretation of the data and to dig more deeply into the ideas and issues that were raised during the data collection process. My experiences also mean I have a somewhat unique perspective on ‘my subjects’. I know what it feels like to be out in the cold and rain, wishing for more support for ‘my’ group’s efforts; the cautious optimism of pulling invasive plants from a site, knowing that a return will be needed for maintenance pulling; and the frustration and loss that are generated when a ‘development’ project destroys a part of the watershed in which one volunteers. I also know the satisfaction of being part of team that is giving a boost to a barren, ‘waste’ land in its start on the journey back to being a functional forested area; the pleasure of being listened to, and heard, at municipal planning processes; and the enjoyment of receiving positive feedback from other park users. This knowledge has given me a greater ability to interpret the nuances of the experiences of the volunteers than someone approaching the xiii question as a strictly outside observer. I hope I have put the information to good use in the results of this study. V. Wahl February 2010. xiv Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Patrick Mooney. Patrick, thank you for the advice, the moral support, the feedback, the input, the insights, and the patience. Thank you for helping me to negotiate through the mounds of red tape that is required to complete a graduate degree. Thank you for commiserating with me on my setbacks and cheering on my successes. I feel unbelievably lucky that you took a chance on me to be one of your students and honoured to count you among my friends. Next, I would like to acknowledge another of my committee members, Dr. Julia Gardner. Julie, thank you for being so generous with your expertise on stewardship groups and all of the feedback on my work. Thank you also for being a sounding board and encouraging spirit as I negotiated my way through the findings, ideas, discussions, and interpretations of my research. Of course, appreciation also goes to my third committee member, Dr. Mike Meitner. Mike, thank you for helping me in the design of my survey instrument, for providing insights on the psychology of people in the environment, and especially for helping me find my way out when I got buried under all of that data. A great big acknowledgement goes out to the stewards. Thank you to everyone who completed one of my questionnaires. Your ideas and input were invaluable – my study literally could not exist without this data. Thank you also to all of the xv groups’ coordinators who allowed me to interview them, and who gave such thoughtful insights on stewardship volunteering and groups. I also appreciate the help and support these individuals gave in allowing me to visit their groups and in getting the surveys to their volunteers. A special note goes out to my home group, the Mahon Park Stewards – I am proud to be counted in your numbers. I would also like to thank my friends and family for their ongoing support and encouragement. High on that list are my two sisters, Katie and Amanda, whose constant love and support have never failed me. Also at the top of that list is my best friend, Amy Frye, who has given advice, suggestions, ideas, and a ready ear throughout the process of finishing this work; and who is always ready with a shoulder to cry on, a hug, or a pat on the back as needed. My good friend, Jennifer Kirkey also gets my warmest gratitude for her encouragement and advice on a variety of ‘beyond-dissertation’ matters that were just as important as the writing and analyses in the completing of this study. I also send appreciation to Dr. Robert McGregor for understanding the need to balance work, school, life, and other stuff, as well as for generally being the ideal employer to have while working on a dissertation. Finally, a number of individuals have given feedback and input that has helped me along the way. These people are: Jude Grass, The MOE ActNow Staff, Andrew Appleton, Aline Tabet, and Zo Ann Morton. Thank you to you all. xvi Dedication This work is dedicated to everyone who volunteers with stewardship groups. May your weather be good, your spirits strong, and your efforts successful. xvii 1 – OPENING REMARKS 1.1 – Issue Statement The rich diversity of Canada’s natural resources is not only vital to our national economy (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Stewardship Working Group – FPTSWG, 2002b), these resources “have played an important role in our history, identity and culture” (Dept. of Fisheries, 2003, 2, see also Scott and Seasons, 1991, 4). The stewardship of these natural resources is seen as “essential to the quality of life…[and]…nature, in all its variety, is essential to human survival” (FPTSWG, 2002b, 2). Additionally, “The driving force for stewardship is often found at the community and local levels” (FPTSWG, 2002a, 5), and community-based “stewardship organizations enable the accomplishment of projects that would otherwise not be possible” through government efforts alone (Stewardship Centre, 2007, 2). Volunteers, in turn, are an essential part of community-based environmental stewardship organizations, or ‘stewardship groups’. Stewardship volunteers undertake a wide variety of functions in support of their organizations, including removal of invasive weeds, clearing brush, planting native trees and shrubs, monitoring and assessments, mapping and inventories, litter clean-ups, environmental education, community outreach, and office and administrative work (e.g. Grese et al., 2000, 265; King and Lynch, 1998, 7; Rosenau and Angelo, 2001, 1 15). The value of volunteers to stewardship organizations cannot be overestimated. Without volunteers, many of these groups would cease to function, or even to exist1. This study seeks to assist the work of environmental stewardship organizations through an examination of the factors that motivate and hinder volunteering in stewardship groups. Firsthand knowledge from participants and program coordinators from eleven stewardship groups in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia will provide a basis to make recommendations for volunteer management in this context. 1.2 – Dissertation Outline This dissertation is broken down into five chapters. The first part of Chapter 1 introduces the topic, discusses the relevance of the work, and describes the research context and focus. As stewardship groups are situated within the environmental movement, the context gives a brief outline of the development of this movement and of environmentalism, particularly in Canada. The research focus narrows down the topic to define the type of environmental organization that is the subject of the study at hand. Next, the research purpose and objectives are outlined. The chapter finishes with a presentation of the research questions. 1 This idea came out repeatedly in the coordinator interviews (detailed in Chapter 3) in response to questions on the role of the volunteers within the groups. 2 The second chapter contains the literature review. This chapter presents an overview of the motivations and barriers people might have for volunteering in general and in stewardship activities in particular. Discussions here also touch on motivations for environmentally responsible behaviours (ERB), as these might relate to other pro-environmental behaviours, like stewardship volunteering. Aspects of environmental citizenship are also examined in this chapter, as they relate to the secondary purpose of this study (see below). Chapter 3 discusses the research methodology used for this study. This chapter includes details on the research design, sampling, and data collection techniques. Chapter 3 also describes the selection of the study groups and the development of the participant survey instrument and ‘expert interview’ schedule. Key variables in the research questions are also operationalized in this chapter. The fourth chapter presents the results and data analyses from the participant surveys. Chapter 5, the final chapter, is made up of the discussions and conclusions for this study. This chapter contains a review of how the results apply to the research questions, as well as touching on the applicability of the literature to the results. Chapter 5 also makes recommendations on volunteer recruitment and retention in 3 community-based stewardship organizations, notes the limitations of the research, lists ’serendipitous’ findings, and suggests directions for future research. Supporting documents for the dissertation are contained in the appendices. These appendices include a list of acronyms used in the dissertation (Appendix A, on page 286) as well as a glossary of commonly used terms and ‘shorthand’ phrases in the dissertation (Appendix B, on pages 287-293). The UBC Behavioural Ethics Review Board approvals are found in Appendix C on pages 294-297. 1.3 – Research Relevance The benefits brought about by stewardship groups are many. Primarily, environmental stewardship groups have the potential to take actions that protect, improve, and maintain the health of local habitats and ecosystems2 (e.g. Bibleaut et al., 2002; Gardner Pinfold, 2002; Rosenau and Angelo, 2001; Stewardship Centre, 2007). Additionally, through carrying out environmental work these groups can contribute greatly to the gross domestic product while completing projects at a fraction of the costs that would be incurred if done by government alone (Bibleaut et al., 2002; Gardner Pinfold, 2002). 2 Because stewardship groups work in a variety of settings, it is difficult to use one term that encompasses all the places where these groups may be active. In this dissertation, ‘habitats’ and ‘ecosystems’ tend to be used most often. However, expressions like ‘local greenspaces’ and ‘local natural areas’ are often also used to describe the settings in which these groups work. All of these terms are meant to denote ‘the nature’ that the stewards are helping when they are volunteering with their groups, be it a forested area, riparian zone, wetland, shoreline, or other type of setting. 4 Involvement of laypersons in local environmental projects and decision-making processes can also have added social benefits, like decreasing conflicts over resources and generating community empowerment (Fraser et al., 2005), increasing the competency of laypersons to care for the land (e.g. Curtis, 1999), ‘enriching community learning about the environment’ (Havinga, 1999), and in realizing the democratic and cultural values that may be potentially gained through hands on environmental projects (e.g. Higgs, 2003; Light, 2000b and 2002; Light and Higgs, 1996). Volunteers are a vital component of stewardship groups. In fact, a study of conservation and stewardship groups across the country found that, after funding, volunteers were the second most cited factor allowing the groups to meet their objectives (Gardner et al., 2003, 56). Further, the recruitment and maintenance of volunteer support was cited as the second most pressing challenge (again after funding) for these groups (Gardner et al., 2003, 56). Therefore, the recruitment and retention of volunteer support is crucial to the continued role of stewardship organizations in helping the environment. Unfortunately, while there are abundant resources available for – and literature on – volunteering in non-environmental community service settings, very little information seems to be available that focuses on participation in environmental stewardship groups3. Though research in this area is growing, the lack of on-the-ground sources 3 The issue of the availability of environmental volunteering literature, especially refereed materials is discussed more detail in the section introducing the literature review in Chapter 2. 5 of information accessible to those recruiting and managing stewardship volunteers has been a source of frustration to these leaders4. This study has relevance then in both academia and in an applied setting. First, this research will contribute to the body of literature on the motivations and barriers for environmental stewardship volunteering. Second, this research hopes to make a positive contribution to those working with volunteer stewards by providing information on effective tactics to draw and maintain volunteer support for local environmental projects and programs. 1.4 – A Look at the ‘Forest’ - Research Context This research takes place in the context of the environmental movement. Additionally, the work of the volunteers in this study is situated in the context of environmentalism in Canada. This part of the dissertation gives a brief overview of the environmental movement, with an emphasis on how this movement unfolded in this country. Here the people, events, and philosophies that both figuratively and literally created the conditions of ‘the forests’ in which many stewardship groups currently work are discussed. 4 This was another issue cited several times during the interviews, where a number of coordinators noted they had tried applying ideas from more general volunteering literature and workshops with limited or no success in their stewardship groups. 6 1.4.1 – The Deep Roots of Environmentalism There is a long history of managing nature for human uses as well as attempts to ameliorate the detrimental effects of landscape practices in nature. For example, modification of the landscape and climate took place through tree planting and channel digging in the Euphrates and Nile River Valleys as long ago as 3 500 BCE (Riley, 1998), while the ancient Phoenicians built rock-walled terraces on mountain slopes to combat erosion that resulted from clearing the land for agriculture, a practice that they brought to what is now France about 2 500 years ago (Lowdermilk, 1953/1994). Citizen involvement in environmental issues is also not new, as evidenced by Roman citizens protesting Emperor Tiberius’ plans to divert the Tiber River to better balance the needs of different cities along the waterway. Those against the plan argued, “nature had admirably provided for human interests in having assigned to rivers their mouths, their channels, and their limits, as well as their sources” (Tactitus as quoted in Riley, 1998, 191). Many other examples exist historically around the world, so much so that “we can speculate that watershed restoration and conservation techniques [concepts that underlie stewardship] are probably as ancient as agriculture on all continents” (Riley, 1998, 192). Additionally, the failure to properly manage natural resources can contribute to the collapse of entire societies (Diamond, 2005), and civilizations have been known to fall as a result of the failure to undertake good stewardship of the lands that they occupy (Lowdermilk, 1953/1994). 7 1.4.2 – Environmentalism in Canada – A Struggle for Balance Focussing on Canada alone, we can see that this country’s environmental history has been one of an overlapping cycle of use and exploitation followed by calls for balance and stewardship5. Additionally, Canada’s own environmental history has been tied to events in other areas of the world, particularly ideals and happenings in Great Britain and the United States. Natural Resource Exploitation in Canada In pre-Columbian times, aboriginal peoples in the Americas took advantage of surrounding natural resources through practices like hunting, gathering, and farming. They also undertook a number of stewardship strategies, like terracing slopes and raising fields in their agricultural practices (Denevan, 2006), as well as using fire for a variety of reasons, including maintaining grasslands and managing forests and foraging grounds (Denevan, 2006; Krech, 2006)6. The arrival of Europeans in North America brought about environmental changes at a scale not yet seen on the continent. The Christian values of these new arrivals 5 In the first chapter of his book, Burton (1972) outlines seven overlapping stages of environmentalism in Canada post European arrival. These stages, which are reviewed only briefly here, relate to periods of economic growth through exploitation of Canada’s natural resources, coupled with increasing recognition of the need to steward these resources in the face of resulting environmental degradation. 6 The role, purpose, extent, and impact of fire use and other land management practices by aboriginal peoples in the Americas are debated, but this debate will not be explored here. The purpose of the inclusion of these points in this dissertation is to illustrate that practices that may fall under the heading ‘stewardship’ have a long history, and may be found across a variety of cultures and geographical settings. Details on the controversies specifically related to American aboriginal land use can be found in the two sources cited above. 8 drove them to set about ‘cultivating’ and subjugating the land (and its peoples) in the name of serving God. To this end, these new settlers worked hard to convert the ‘savage’ land that greeted them into an ‘orderly, disciplined’ garden-like state resembling ‘heaven on earth’ (Cook, 2006). Moving forward in time, the Industrial Revolution brought about new large-scale socio-cultural, economic, and environmental changes, including: the birth of the steam engine and railroads, the means for large-scale mechanical production and agriculture, the increased use of synthetic substances and demand for natural resources, population growth and urbanizing populations, increased wastes and effluents into the environment, and the eventual formation of a global market (Shabecoff, 2003). Additionally, the Dominion of Canada, despite not being fully industrialized itself, felt the affects of this revolution in greater demands for resources from both Great Britain and the United States (Duke, 2006a, 263; Foster, 1998, 5). Pressures from the Industrial Revolution were compounded with several other factors in deterring protection of Canada’s natural resources. Foster (1998,12) explains, An uninhabited frontier, the myth of superabundance, an era of exploitation and lack of knowledge about wildlife, the political climate of the National Policy and the division of powers under the British North America Act – all of these factors and attitudes within the government and among Canadian people generally, obstructed and delayed the advent of wildlife conservation in Canada. 9 Here, the British North America Act gave each province power over its own resources, decreasing interest by the federal government to become involved in this issue (Foster, 1998, 9). In addition, concerns with ‘building an new nation’ through the expansion of the railroad, increased settlement (Foster, 1998 9), occupied federal concerns under the McDonald government’s policy of the ‘doctrine of usefulness’ (1887-1914) that encouraged the exploitation of Canada’s resources (Burton, 1972, 27). Later, the 1920s saw another period of rapid growth in Canada, with a subsequent surge in the use of resources for hydroelectric production, agriculture, and the pulpwood, lumber, and fishing industries (Burton, 1972, 35). This period of growth continued until the U.S. stock market crash caused a world wide slump in trading and the need for Canada to overhaul its natural resources policies, including drawing both the provincial and federal governments into the planning and management of these resources (Burton, 1972). World War Two put an end to the new policies, replacing them instead with “industrial expansion at virtually any cost”, with economic efficiency and supporting the war effort overriding natural resources concerns (Burton, 1972, 37). The end of the war did not see the end of this trend. Instead, the post-war years saw a new shift in policies where the main objective became to “develop natural resources so as to create employment for demobilised soldiers, sailors and airmen, 10 to shift production from a wartime to a peacetime basis” (Burton, 1972, 37). The transportation, energy, and mining sectors were expanded to meet these new development needs (Burton, 1972, 38). The high standard of living in the 1950s, combined with access to cheap energy and the development of ‘suburban conformity’ in the “era of the organization man (sic)” discouraged thought toward the environment; few people identified themselves as conservationists during that time (Werbach, 2004). This era has led to the situation today, where, at least in the US, conservationism is often pitted against conservatism, the latter of which forwards the rights of individuals and corporations over the common good (Werbach, 2004). Responses to Environmental Degradation The degradation that has been caused to the environment since the arrival of Europeans on this continent has not gone unnoticed or unanswered. In response to the Industrial Revolution, the late 1800s saw the birth of the Conservation Movement. At this time in the U.S., authors like Thoreau, Muir, and Burroughs wrote of the need to conserve and care for the environment. Further, in 1878 American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, “proposed what may well have been the first major attempt anywhere at ecological restoration as we know it today” in Boston (Egan, 1990). 11 In Canada too calls were being made to balance ‘natural beauty’ with the ‘efficient use of resources’, and successes in the U.S. played “significant part in promoting and sustaining the burgeoning [conservation] movement across the border in Canada” (Burton, 1972, 25). Individual provinces, like Ontario, were also beginning to feel the impacts of high levels of settlement, and concerns about the loss of a frontier in the U.S. and impacts of increased settlement there caused concern across the border into Canada (Foster, 1998, 14). The turn of the last century in Canada also saw calls for conservation legislation and planning from a perhaps surprising source – the forestry industry itself. With growing concern about increased settlement on previously forested lands and worried about overexploitation of the resources due to increased demand for lumber from the U.S. and Great Britain, organizing began in the 1890s to conserve forest resources in Canada. These efforts cumulated in the Canadian Forestry Convention in 1906, which is cited as “the birth of systematic planning of conservation of natural resources” in this country (Burton, 1972, 28). Later, Canada joined the North American Conservation Conference, which called for conservation of resources and proposals for legislation governing the use of water, lands, minerals, and forests (Burton, 1972, 29). The Conservation Commission was formed in Canada in 1909 in part due to these lobbying efforts. This Commission would oversee conservation and related research in Canada until 1921 (Burton, 1972, 29). 12 The development of broad theories on wildlife management found its beginnings in the 1920s and 1930s, while individuals working in Canadian parks began to warn about the impacts that exploitation and settlement were having on wildlife populations (Foster, 1998). It was due to these pressures that the federal government finally started to realize that resources were not unlimited, and began to take an interest in these issues. In 1922, wildlife conservation became a regular part of the government’s policy (Foster, 1998, 14). The ‘Dust Bowls’ of the 1930s gave strong evidence across North America that past land practices, like clear-cutting forests, the diversion of rivers for irrigation and unrestricted use of resources could not be sustained (Dombeck et al., 1997). In Canada, the droughts saw a greater involvement of government in natural resources policies and management, including participation in the national Conference on Forest Resources in 1935, and the Canadian Wildlife Conference in 1937 (Burton, 1972, 36). The 1930s became an era of ‘wise use’ and ‘sustainable use.’ Concerns over natural resources prompted the development of a ‘resource conservation ethic’ that worked toward maintaining the long-term use of resources for the benefit of both contemporary and future societies (Dombeck et al., 1997). In addition, this was an important time in North American restoration, as it was then that Aldo Leopold began his experiments at the University of Wisconsin’s Arboretum (Higgs, 2003, 78). It was during the early 1930s too that Leopold began to introduce ideas of 13 reciprocal relationships between humans and the land (Leopold, A.C., 2004). His work was the first to include ideas of a ‘conservation ethic’ or ‘land ethic’; and these ideas would cumulate not just in the development of Leopold’s own writings on a Land Ethic (see for example, Leopold, A., 1949/1966); they would be the foundation for an entirely new paradigm in conservation biology (Leopold, A.C., 2004). The post-war boom also saw its critics. Responses were raised in concern about the negative effects of industrial activities, fears about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, acid rain, the ‘death’ of Lake Erie, and ideas discussed in Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring (published in 1962) (Duke, 2006b, 6). In general, citizens became more involved in environmental issues, reviving past conservation efforts and leading to the founding of the first Earth Day in Los Angeles on April 22, 1970 (Werbach, 2004). In fact, “the 1960s and 1970s marked a coming of age internationally for environmental issues, organizations and legislation” (Higgs, 2003, 80). In Canada, this renewed environmentalism expressed itself in terms of nationalism, linking the importance of our resources to the economy and culture. The continued need to steward these resources was a growing concern and apprehension about control over these resources by U.S. and other foreign companies was again an issue at this time (Burton, 1972, 39). Additionally, the new conservation movement of the Canadian 1960s was guided by not just in strictly economic but also social 14 terms, and “had a strong base in the universities and growing power in the political arena” (Burton, 1972, 40). In the last two decades, a concern that “governments and corporations are unable to protect the environment effectively” has, in part, led to “the increase in the number of Canadian environmental stewardship groups and coalitions” (Lerner and Carr, 1994). At a regional level, the 1990s brought about concerns about environmental issues and dwindling fish stocks. At this time, British Columbia also saw “a proliferation of non-governmental organizations that have focused on restoring and protecting aquatic ecosystems in [local] communities, particularly in urban environments” (Rosenau and Angelo, 2001, 9), where habitat and salmonoid concerns continue to be a focus of many stewardship groups today (Smailes, 2006, 3). Most recently, insistence has been growing that failure to maximize the involvement of local laypersons in hands on environmental projects in their communities also fails to maximize the social, civic, moral, democratic, and other values potential in such projects (e.g. Higgs, 2003; Light, 2002; Light, 2000a; Light and Higgs, 1996). Additionally, community-based environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) are being increasingly recognized as valuable contributors to environmental health, as well as providers of opportunities for laypersons to become involved in local environmental projects (e.g. Anderson, 2003; DFO, 2003; FPTSWG, 2002a and 2002b; Rosenau and Angelo, 2001). 15 1.5 – ENGOs: A Look at the ‘Trees’ – Research Focus This section examines environmental stewardship groups – the figurative ‘trees’ – in more detail. First, a general set of definitions is given for ‘environmental stewardship’. Next, there is a discussion of the types of groups that are active in the environmental movement. The following part outlines characteristics that distinguish stewardship groups from other types of environmental organizations, narrowing down the ideas and activities presented in the previous two parts. The last part of this section of the dissertation gives a recap of the final details that define the type of group – community-based stewardship organizations – that are the subject of this research. 1.5.1 – Stewardship – A Wide Range of Activities Environmental stewardship has been defined as: The wide range of actions and activities of individuals, communities, organizations and businesses acting alone or in partnership...[which are done]... to promote, monitor and conserve biodiversity, to develop and use all natural resources in a sustainable manner, and to maintain the ecosystems on which life depends. (FPTSWG, 2002a, 3). A second definition may be: An ethic by which Canadians care for our land, water and air as parts of a natural life-support system and act to sustain and enhance it for generations to come. (FPTSWG, 2002a, 3). 16 The above definitions are deliberately wide in order to be inclusive of all those working to help the environment in this country. However, for the purposes of this research, only one aspect of stewardship work is considered – that being done by community-based environmental organizations. 1.5.2 – Environmental Organizations – A Wide Range of Groups When looking at the environmental movement, we come across a wide range of organizations, from large, multi-national entities, like Greenpeace, to groups of only a few citizens working on specific a local issue or habitat feature. Additionally, the activities of groups within the environmental movement vary from different forms of activism, to education and outreach, to monitoring and research, to hands on activities in different habitats, to focus on specific environmental concerns – like sustainable living (e.g. Measham and Barnett, 2007, 25), and more. The stewardship groups involved in this study may take on some or all of the above types of activities, or even others beyond these. However, as opposed to other types of organizations (e.g. advocacy groups) the main focus of the study groups is on community-based stewardship activities (see below). 1.5.3 – Community-Based Environmental Stewardship Organizations – Narrowing It Down The wide range of activities and actors that can be contained in a definition of stewardship, combined with the wide range types of groups within the 17 environmental movement, make it necessary to define exactly what is meant be a ‘community-based environmental stewardship organization’ in the study at hand. Community-based environmental stewardship organizations do, in fact, take on a wide variety of activities. Among other things, these groups: work to raise environmental awareness and undertake ‘on-the-ground’ activities to protect and enhance local ecosystems. They undertake a wide variety of key planning, protection, restoration, enhancement and educational activities that are associated with the stewardship of ecosystems. Many of the projects they lead increase community capacity, empower local leaders to undertake local initiatives, and influence community involvement and interest in healthy ecosystems. (Stewardship Centre, 2007, 4). However, while stewardship groups perform a great range of activities, their focus on “fish and wildlife and their habitat” helps to define and distinguish them from other types of groups in the environmental movement (Gardner, 1993, 79)7. In a different way of describing the focus of these groups, Paish (1999) defines a continuum of five levels at which stewardship groups might work. These begin at Level 1, which has groups focussed on a particular geographic site, issue, project etc. and move to level 5, which includes organizations representing a number of interests, stakeholders, or user groups at large geographic scales (Paish, 1999, 2). The groups involved in the study at hand would generally fall into level 2 or level 3 – well-established groups working at a watershed level, providing advocacy, habitat 7 Gardner (1993) also includes “sports and recreation” as a focus of stewardship groups in differentiating them from advocacy groups in her review of ENGOs in the Fraser Basin. However for the purposes of the current study, sports and recreation were not included as a focus of stewardship groups (though one of the groups in the study is a fish and game club). 18 conservation, stewardship and protection and planning, but again having a primary focus on habitat concerns (Paish, 1999, 2). The focus on wildlife and habitat issues makes hands on projects in local habitats a key function of stewardship groups. Hands on work involves direct contact between the volunteers and the habitats in their communities and may include activities such as: removal of invasive plants; planting of native species of trees, shrubs, and other plants; salmon enhancement work; and monitoring and inventories. Because of the nature of this work, hands on stewardship activities have alternatively been called ‘dirty hands’ (e.g. Light, 2002) and ‘gumboot’ (Justice, 2007) activities. To further define the scale and focus of the stewardship groups under consideration, it is important to note that these groups are community-based. This means that the membership of these groups is drawn largely from those who live near the worksites, and the focus of the groups’ activities include relatively local issues and habitats. These groups are also distinguished from larger, umbrella organizations in that their work is directed toward the issues, projects, and programs of the group rather than toward providing support and services to a set of groups or stakeholders in a particular region. Stewardship groups also generally have good, supportive relationships with government, with “intense contact at the local level” (Gardner, 1993, 79), as opposed to more advocacy-oriented groups, which tend to take a more distrustful, 19 confrontational approach to government (Gardner, 1993, 69). Additionally, all of the groups in this study are nongovernmental organizations – that is, these groups act autonomously from government, even if they benefit from the support of governmental personnel or agencies8. Here, we should note that stewardship groups do take on a variety of roles, including advocacy, if the situation demands it. However, stewardship groups are differentiated from advocacy-oriented groups by a number of variables like, the focus of the groups, the relationships they have with government, and the types of activities they most commonly do (Gardner, 1993). Finally, stewardship groups, as defined for this study, are volunteer-based. That is, while the groups may have some paid staff, the bulk of the people active in the groups are participating as volunteers – those who contribute “time, resources, energy and/or talent without monetary compensation” (McClintock, 2004, 1). Also, the main memberships of the groups consist of volunteer laypersons – environmental professionals or related government personnel may be called in on an ad hoc basis, or may be part of the volunteer memberships of the groups, but interested community members of every background handle the day-to-day work of these groups. 8 In fact, several of the groups in the study benefit from the support of government and/or umbrella organizations, though the community-based groups themselves are neither. 20 1.5.4 – Stewardship Groups in this Study – The Final Definition To summarize, the groups involved in this research are: community-based stewardship groups made up primarily of volunteer community members. These groups are nongovernmental organizations, though they tend to have good relationships with government. The groups provide a number of stewardship activities, including advocacy, monitoring, education, and planning, but they focus mainly on rehabilitating habitat for fish and other wildlife. To carry out this work, the groups include a focus on hands on activities in local habitats and hatcheries. 1.6 – Research Purpose and Objectives 1.6.1 – Research Purpose The main purpose of this research is to contribute to the small and growing body of literature on motivations and barriers for stewardship volunteering, and in doing so to support the work of environmental stewardship organizations by helping to establish a framework for positive volunteer management in this context – largely to make recommendations on strategies to increase participation and to avoid factors that decrease participation in this type of volunteering. A secondary, and minor, purpose of the study is to examine theories that relate environmental citizenship to environmental stewardship (e.g. Light, 2005 and 2002). This topic could be a full study in itself, so will not be addressed fully in this dissertation. However, because the opportunity presented itself through this research, questions were included in the volunteer surveys that touch on this topic. 21 1.6.2 – Research Objectives The main goals of this study are to: learn more about stewardship volunteers in this region; determine the types of activities that these volunteers do; determine what motivates people to volunteer in stewardship activities; determine what constrains this type of participation; make recommendations based on the results to - stewardship group coordinators, - beyond-group supporters (for example, umbrella groups and funding and governmental agencies), - stewardship volunteers; add to research on motivations and barriers for stewardship volunteering; and add to research on environmental citizenship and stewardship. 1.7 – Research Questions The following research questions are designed to respond to the research objectives for this study. 22 1.7.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer? The question of the characteristics of a ‘typical’ stewardship volunteer might be important in seeking a ‘priority audience’ for recruitment efforts9. Additionally, knowing about the characteristics of the volunteers is relevant to those concerned about the diversity of the volunteers in their groups. Finally, understanding the demographic variables of the volunteers is important because these characteristics might act as intervening variables for a number of the other research questions. 1.7.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities? In this study, the type of activity, the frequency at which it was done, and the enjoyment level the respondent has for it were all considered as aspects of volunteer involvement in the groups’ activities. These variables are important in gaining a better understanding of the activities done by the participants in this study as well as how this involvement relates to other research variables. 1.7.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do? This research question was included because many of the coordinators expressed interest in knowing whether there were additional activities that their volunteers would like to do, beyond those of current focus. Further, if large numbers of 9 This question was asked by the BC Ministry of Environment as part of their ActNow BC project aimed at increasing involvement in stewardship volunteering in the province. The responses to this question, based on the literature review for this dissertation, are found in Wahl (2006). 23 ‘additional activities’ are listed, inferences might be made about the level of satisfaction and commitment that the volunteers have for their groups. 1.7.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? The level of commitment that the volunteers have for their work is considered as it gives insight into the base of people available who are willing to give of their time and efforts to help the environment. Commitment is also measured in order to see how it might relate to other variables, such as motivations and constraints. 1.7.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? Knowing what motivates and enhances participation is important to volunteer management. Determining the factors that encourage participation can support volunteer recruitment and retention. Additionally, volunteer managers generally have a concern that the volunteers in their groups are enjoying and taking satisfaction from their experiences10. Three follow-up research questions examined different aspects of creating and maintaining positive volunteer experiences: 10 Certainly all of the coordinators interviewed for this research expressed this concern. 24 RQ 5.1: What Motivates People to Participate in Stewardship Volunteering? A better understanding of what motivates people to volunteer with their groups would support those leading stewardship organizations in designing their programs to best achieve this volunteer support. RQ 5.2: What Are the Greatest Satisfactions and Rewards for Stewardship Volunteers? This question is similar to that of volunteer motivations, in that knowing what gives the volunteers the most satisfaction from their volunteering would help coordinators to take action to fulfill these benefits. RQ 5.3: What Thank You Gestures or Awards Would the Volunteers Most Like to Receive? Finding appropriate ways of thanking volunteers is a concern that was raised by a number of the group coordinators during the preparation of the survey instrument. It was also a concern that was raised often during the interviews. Additionally, thanking the volunteers is an issue of concern for this study, as volunteers who feel unappreciated may burn out, and/or reduce or discontinue their participation with their groups (e.g. Bell, 2003, 31; Byron and Curtis 2002, 64; Byron et al., 2001, 907). 1.7.6 – RQ 6: Which Variables Detract from or Deter Participation? This research question looks at the other side of volunteering – the factors that take away from positive volunteer experiences and discourage participation. Knowing 25 what prevents people from actively volunteering is just as important as the reasons they have for their participation, especially if these constraints are ones that may be modified or reduced by the groups. 1.7.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship? The questions in this section are not the main focus of the research, but rather were included to take advantage of the opportunity to examine theories on environmental citizenship and stewardship presented by the research. Further, this research question was examined only in relation to hands on activities, which are the focus of the theories relating stewardship volunteering and environmental citizenship (e.g. Jordan, 2000, Light, 2005 and 2002). Three areas of environmental citizenship based on the literature were investigated for this research question. Because this is only a minor part of the research, ‘environmental citizenry’ is defined fairly narrowly as it relates to the purposes of the study. In this research, environmental citizenry is meant to relate to the attitudes people have toward and actions they might take in relation to the natural environment. Good environmental citizenry would include having positive attitudes toward the natural environment and taking actions that are beneficial to nature. Here, environmental citizenry also includes positive feelings people might develop for natural areas, as well as the willingness to take action to protect or restore these spaces. 26 RQ 7.1: Does Getting One’s Hands Dirty Help to Develop Emotional Responses to the Worksites? This question looks at the level of ownership, responsibility, and attachment volunteers have for their worksites. RQ 7.2: Does Hands On Volunteering Lead to the Development of a ‘Constituency for Nature’? This question looks at potential reactions volunteers might have if their worksites were threatened with a negative change. RQ 7.3: Does Hands On Volunteering Correlate to Other Environmental Action? Environmentally friendly behaviours that the volunteers do beyond participating with their groups are reviewed in this research question. 1.8 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead In this chapter, the terms of the study were defined to include those volunteering with community-based environmental stewardship organizations. The research is important because contributes both to the literature and to applied settings for those who wish to maintain or increase volunteer support for their stewardship groups. The research objectives and questions were designed to contribute to these applications. 27 The following chapter reviews the literature that applies to volunteering in both general and environmental settings. Research in Chapter 2 is drawn from a number of areas, including environmental psychology, volunteerism, environmentally responsible behaviours, and even business management and marketing. Chapter 2 also provides a foundation against which to evaluate and discuss the results from this study. 28 2 – SETTING THE CONTEXT 2.1 – Chapter 2 Outline Chapter sets the context for the research. Here, relevant literature is reviewed in order to provide a theoretical background that supports the development of the survey instrument and the answering of the research questions. The beginning of this chapter, Section 2.2, gives an overview of the literature used in the study. The next section (2.3) introduces the Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI) and Volunteer Motivation Inventory (VMI), which are two models that focus on reasons for volunteering in community service work. Section 2.3 also discusses which area of these two models seem most applicable to environmental volunteers, as well as introducing other volunteer motivations that were culled from the literature on participation in the environmental movement. Section 2.4 of this chapter outlines the complexities involved in decisions to participate in pro-social behaviours like volunteering. This section is followed by Section 2.5, which introduces the idea of a ‘participatory personality’, where some people seem to be heavily involved in a variety of pro-social behaviours. Section 2.6 gives an overview of the motivations and benefits that might prompt people to do pro-social activities. This section, of course, has a focus on those 29 reasons for pro-social behaviours that are most likely to relate to decisions to become an environmental volunteer. Section 2.7 Follows the outline of potential volunteer motivations and gives an overview of things that might constrain or prevent environmental volunteering. These constraints are generally grouped into three categories: individual, grouprelated, and task-related barriers. The last section of the literature review, Section 2.8, deals with theories and studies that relate hands on environmental volunteering to the development of greater environmental citizenship. Though not the main focus of this study, the environmental citizenship literature is relevant to the secondary purpose of this study, which is to add to knowledge and research in this area. Chapter 2 concludes with Section 2.9, which gives a brief summary and a look ahead to the next chapters. 2.2 – Overview of the Literature Used Because research on stewardship volunteering is somewhat limited, and because volunteering is a complex process, a wide range of literature was used to develop a conceptual background for this study. The literature used in this research examines a range of factors that might influence whether or not an individual decides to participate in different helping behaviours. The purpose of using the range of 30 literature chosen is to draw together concepts that might explain decisions about participation in stewardship volunteering. The main body of research drawn on in this literature review comes from work on volunteering in community service (usually non-environmental) organizations11. Including literature on volunteering is naturally important as it relates directly to the topic at hand. However, “the clients of non-profit environmental organizations are different [than those of community service organizations]: sometimes [including] another species altogether or planet Earth itself” (King and Lynch, 1998, 6). That is, stewardship volunteering focuses on helping wildlife and ‘the environment’ rather than helping people. The focus stewardship groups have on helping the environment prompted the inclusion of literature on the motivations and barriers for environmentally responsible behaviours (ERB), like recycling, to augment concepts developed from the volunteering literature. The inclusion of ERB research in this study is supported by the literature, where, for example, Kollmuss and Ageyman (2002) note that research on pro-social behaviours have been used to develop theories on the motivations and barriers for ERB. 11 In order to avoid awkwardness, discussions related to volunteering in a general setting will be referred to as ‘community service’ volunteering, or ‘general volunteering’. Volunteering in environmental groups will be addressed using terms like ‘environmental volunteering’ or ‘stewardship volunteering’ depending on the type of environmental organizations involved. 31 The most essential addition to the literature review is, of course, the research that was found on participating in the environmental movement. Here the word ‘participating’ is used because the literature reviewed includes not just volunteering, but also encompasses participation in activism and protests (e.g. Tindall, 2002 and 2004). Additionally, some of the literature deals with environmental professionals rather than volunteers (e.g. Chawla 1998 and 1999). Because the work on participation, particularly volunteering, in the environmental movement is not robust, all studies that were found during the literature search were considered in this literature review. These studies include not just refereed sources but also books and book chapters, graduate work, and reports of various types and purposes. Finally, literature from other related areas, including environmental psychology and education, landscape and urban planning, and even business marketing and management, was used to complement the three main areas of research (volunteering, ERB, and participation in the environmental movement) used to build the conceptual framework for this study. 2.3 – Picking and Choosing One of the most commonly used models on volunteering motivations is the Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI), developed by Clary and his colleagues (e.g. Clary and Snyder, 1999; Clary et al. 1992, 1996, and 1998, Omoto and Snyder, 1995). This model takes a functional approach to explore the motivations people have for volunteering in a number of areas. A functional approach is practical as it 32 “is concerned with the personal and social motives, needs, goals, and functions that are served by an individual’s beliefs and actions” (Clary et al., 1992, 335). Over time, the VFI model has been modified to include six general motivational functions (e.g. Clary et al., 1992, 1996, and 1998). More recently, Esmond and Dunlop (2004) have done a series of studies to create the Volunteer Motivation Inventory (VMI). The VMI is based on the VFI model, but several of the VFI items have been modified, and new items have been added to create a list of ten general motivations people have for volunteering. This literature review is based loosely on the ten motivational items found in the VFI and VMI models, which are summarized in Table 2.1. However, because the environmental volunteering literature tends to differ somewhat from the VFI and VMI models, instead of covering all ten motivational items from the models in detail, this literature review focuses only on areas of overlap between the two types of volunteering: values and altruism, social aspects of volunteerism, and understanding and learning. For each of these types of motivations, related literature is drawn in from all areas reviewed, with an emphasis on how these motivational items relate to research on participation in the environmental movement. 33 Volunteer Function/Motivation Values Reciprocity Recognition Understanding Table 2.1 Summary of Volunteer Function and Volunteer Motivation Inventories Definition Inventory Specific Reference Volunteering provides opportunities to… Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157 “express or act on important values like humanitarianism” VFI act in an altruistic way Clary et al., 1992, 337 and VMI "express or act on firmly held beliefs of the importance for one to help Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 others" “bring about good things for [oneself]” through helping others (to act on the VMI Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 belief that ‘what goes around comes around’) VMI VFI and VMI Enhancement/ Self-Esteem VFI/ VMI Reactivity VMI Social Social Interaction (modified from VFI Social) Protective be “recognised for [one’s] skills and contribution” have “new learning experiences and the chance to exercise knowledge, skills, and abilities that might otherwise go unpracticed” “learn for the sake of learning” "learn more about the world…[and to]…experience or exercise skills that are often unused" “grow and develop psychologically” "increase [one's] own feelings of self-worth and self-esteem" "‘heal’ and address [one's] own past or current issues" “make friends and to develop social ties through [one’s] work” VFI “engage in an activity viewed favorably by important others” VMI uses "to conform to normative influences of significant others (e.g. friends or only family)" "build social networks and enjoy the social aspects of interacting with VMI others" VFI and VMI Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 Clary et al., 1998, 1518 Clary et al., 1992, 337 Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157 Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 Esmond and Dunlop 2004, 51 Omoto and Snyder, 1995, 673 Clary et al., 1998, 1518 Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 “reduce negative feelings, such as guilt or to address personal problems” Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157 Career/ VFI/ “gain career-related experience” “[prepare] for a new career or…[maintain] career-relevant skills" Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157 Clary et al., 1998, 1518 Career Development VMI make "connections with people and [gain] experience and field skills that may eventually be beneficial in assisting them to find employment" Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51 34 The environmental volunteering literature introduces three unique sets of volunteer motivations that did not seem to arise in the research dealing with community service volunteering. These three new motivations are: accomplishment, personal welfare, and group solidarity. The first two of these motivations are dealt with separately after the discussions on the motivations related to the VFI and VMI models. The last item is included with the other social aspects of volunteering in the VFI and VMI discussions. 2.4 – Volunteering – A Complex Process of Rewarding, Unpaid Work Determining motivations and barriers for behaviours such as volunteering is a complex process. Aside from the number of potential variables that may be involved in the decision to volunteer, it has been noted that motivations are not discrete or easily separated and categorized. People often do not just have one type of motivation for their participation; their reasons are generally multifaceted (Clary and Snyder, 1999; Clary et al., 1996, 492; Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 57; Hwang et al., 2005, 392; Rehberg, 2005, 115), and overlapping (Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen, 1991, 281), and often interact in complex ways (Yeung, 2004, 57). Similarly, for most people, there is often more than one constraint to action (Kollmuss and Ageyman, 2002). Further, the volunteers themselves generally do not distinguish between types of reasons they have for their participation but instead act on several motivational functions at once in search of rewarding experiences (Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen, 1991, 281). Finally, different people may hold different 35 reasons for doing the same action (Clary and Snyder, 1999, 156; Clary et al. 1998, 1517; Omoto and Snyder, 1995, 673). Despite the concerns about the complexities involved in the decision to undertake (or not undertake) helping behaviours, like volunteering, a number of factors have been identified as potentially supporting or detracting from participation in these actions. The previous chapter defined a volunteer as one who provides support and services to an organization without receiving monetary compensation (McClintock, 2004, 1). However, while volunteers might work without pay, they may still derive a variety of tangible and intangible rewards for their efforts. Volunteers may also fulfill a variety of psychological, social, practical, and other needs through their participation. Examining the benefits derived and needs fulfilled through volunteering can help to determine the motivations prompting people to give of their time to help a community service or environmental organization (e.g. Clary et al., 1992). Moreover, a range of individual, group-related, and task-related constraints may prevent or hinder participation. 2.5 – Participatory Personality Aside from having a variety of motivations for helping behaviours, research on these behaviours suggests that there is a subgroup of people who take their participation to an exceptionally high level. This trait causes people to be very actively involved 36 in pro-social and/or pro-environmental behaviours and so might be called a ‘participatory personality’. The participatory personality as an aspect of volunteering is highlighted by several studies. For example, in their study on volunteerism in Canada, Reed and Selbee (2000, 1) found that active volunteers were distinguished from others by “their high level of involvement in a variety of other forms of contributing and participating” causing these researchers to hypothesize the “existence of a caring and contributing personality syndrome” (Reed and Selbee, 2000, 15). Similar results were found in other Canadian research (Hall, et al., 2006), as well as work from overseas (Baum et al., 1999). When looking at environmental behaviours, researchers have divided consumers into different levels from ‘basic browns’ who “are characterized by a virtual absence of any pro-environmental activities” to ‘true blue greens’ who “are the leaders of the green movement among the general population” (Schwartz and Miller, 1991, 34). These ‘true blue greens’ would be the ERB equivalent to those most active in other forms of pro-social behaviours, like volunteering, donating, and participating in clubs and teams. 2.5.1 – Participatory Personality and Environmental Volunteering Few studies within the environmental volunteering literature seem to have measured factors related to a ‘participatory personality’. However, where this 37 concept was investigated, environmental volunteers, like those in community service organizations, also tend to show aspects of a ‘participatory personality.’ For example, Landcare participants in Australia were significantly more likely to be involved in other community service work than those not involved in Landcare groups (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 102). The activity levels of environmental volunteers within their groups may also be distinguished by participation in other community service endeavours. Manzo and Weinstein (1987, 685) found that active volunteers in the Sierra Club “were more likely to be joiners” (i.e. to be active in other environmental and community service organizations) than nonactive members. Donald (1997) also found that belonging to and participating actively with other environmental organizations was positively associated with active participation with the group under study (Donald, 1997, 501). Finally, in both the groups she worked with, Martinez (1998) found that those who were active volunteers in the study groups were characterized by belonging to more other environmental organizations and contributing more volunteer hours to them than the nonactive members (Martinez, 1998, 11 & 20). 2.6 – Motivations for Helping Behaviours This section of the dissertation gives an overview of helping motivations that most relate to the reasons people have for environmental volunteering. Each section introduces a motivational function, using related literature from community service volunteering and ERB (as applicable). Details relating specifically to the 38 motivational function in an environmental context conclude the discussions of each motivational function. The motivations discussed here are based on the ten items VFI and VMI models that were found to be important in general volunteering settings. Note also that only the themes from these models – values and altruism, social aspects of volunteering, and understanding and learning are detailed in these discussions, as this set of motivations was found to be most relevant to the literature that focuses on participation in the environmental movement. Following the discussions on the motivations for volunteering in community service work, the motivations that seem to be unique to environmental volunteering are detailed. Details from the motivational literature reviewed were important in the development of the survey instrument. Section 3.6.5 in the next chapter details 18 motivational items that were included on the survey instrument, and which were developed from the literature review. 2.6.1 – From the Good of Their Hearts – Values and Helping Behaviours Altruism, or “devotion to the welfare of others [or] regard for others as a principle of action” (Simpson, 2006), is generally seen as an important function of volunteerism, where intention to help others is cited as a fundamental part of being a volunteer 39 (Scheier, 1980, 9). Additionally, while other motivations (e.g. social ties and interactions) are found to be better predictors of volunteering and charitable giving overall, an “altruistic orientation” may still be required to activate volunteering (Sokolowski, 1996, 274). In the VFI and VMI models altruism is defined as the wish to “express or act on important values like humanitarianism” (Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157). This item forms the ‘values’ category of these inventories. In VFI-based research, it was found that values-related motivations, like feeling it ‘is important to help others’ tended to be cited most frequently as reasons that people volunteer (e.g. Allison et al., 2002, 251, Clary and Snyder, 1999, 157). These findings were consistent with later research done to develop the VMI model (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 49). Beyond the VFI and VMI models, altruistic reasons centred on “the opportunity to do something worthwhile” (Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen, 1991, 278), “helping persons in need” (Serafino, 2001, 17), “achieving something positive for others” (Rehberg, 2005, 119), and the ability ‘to contribute’ (Braker et al., 2000) were found among the most common reasons for community service volunteering. Research comparing Canadian and American volunteers also showed the leading five motivations to volunteer in both countries related to altruism, including the wish to give back and to help one’s community (Hwang et al., 2005, 393). Finally, in the most recent 40 Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP), most Canadian volunteers (93%) said they got involved because they wanted to “make a contribution to their community” (Hall et al., 2009, 48). In related literature, research on ERB has shown that “a willingness to contribute to the collective good and a willingness to change the status quo to do so” positively affects the willingness to do things that will help the environment, like recycling, avoiding littering, giving money to environmental causes, and writing to the media about environmental issues (Karp, 1996, 115). Giving Back to Nature – Values and Environmental Volunteering Altruism plays an important role in environmental volunteering. In fact, virtually all of the studies reviewed highlighted altruistic motivations for environmental volunteers. There was only one notable exception, where one study on the Master Gardener program showed only 5.6% volunteers indicating that they had “joined the program with the primary goal of helping others” (Simonson and Pals, 1990, 2). Most of the environmental volunteering studies reviewed showed the unique focus of environmental volunteers, who tend to direct their efforts to helping nature or various wildlife species and habitats. Still, these volunteers were found to also direct their altruism to other, more human or social entities. This section examines the research that illustrates these different aspects of values and altruism for environmental volunteers. 41 Altruistic reasons like concern for (Bell, 2003, 23; Manzo and Weinstein, 1987, 689), helping (Grese et al., 2000, 270; Ryan et al., 2001, 637; Schroeder, 2000, 249), protecting (Haas, 2000, 38; Martinez, 1998; Martinez and McMullin, 2004; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 18), caring for (Measham and Barnett, 2007, 13), contributing to (King and Lynch, 1998, 8), or giving back to (Christie, 2004, 3; Fisk, 1995, 73; Gooch, 2002, 27; Justice 2007, 37; Peers, 2007, 119) nature and the environment were given high priority by environmental volunteers in a number of studies. In other cases, altruism was directed toward specific wildlife species (e.g. Bradford and Israel, 2004; Martinez, 1998, 19), or was prompted by concerns about problems people noticed in the environment (BC MOE, 2007; Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 105; Donald, 1997, 494), the wish to ‘act responsibly toward the Earth’ (Miles et al., 1998, 33), and to support healthy environments (BC MOE, 2007). Although the altruistic motivations held by volunteers in the environmental movement are generally directed toward helping nature, some of their more selfless reasons are directed toward other areas. For example, many of these volunteers stressed the wish to contribute to their communities (Austin, 2002, 182; BC MOE, 2007; Finch, 1997, 373; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 13; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 19; Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 284; Schrock et al., 2000a, 4; Still and Gerhold, 1997, 119) and even to concerns at more regional, state, or national levels (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 105; Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 284). In other studies, 42 participants gave reasons related to contributing to or supporting the organizations for which they volunteered as strong motivations for their volunteering (Bell, 2003, 23; Gooch, 2005, 16; King and Lynch, 1998, 8; Martinez, 1998; Martinez and McMullin, 2004). Finally, concerns for others (Bradford and Israel, 2004; Schrock et al., 2000b, 628) and for future generations (Bell, 2003 23; Gooch, 2005 17; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 13; Miles, 1998, 33; Schroeder, 2000, 253) were among the altruistic reasons that were shown to be valued by people volunteering in the environmental movement. It Is Necessarily a Give-and-Take Process As the research shows, altruism and values can act as important motivators for helping behaviours, especially in initiating this type of behaviour (Sokolowski, 1996, 274). Additionally, research shows that in the perceptions of the general public altruism is one the main defining factor of a ‘volunteer’, where those who receive rewards (tangible or intangible) for their work are seen as being less of a volunteer than those who perform similar work for fewer or no rewards (Cnaan et al., 1996; Handy et al., 2000). However, volunteer managers would be wise to not rely too heavily on this type of motivation in gaining and especially in maintaining long-term volunteer support. Research has shown that those who hold more self-interested motivations volunteer for longer durations (Omoto and Snyder, 1995, 681) and contribute more hours (Zappalà and Burrell, 2001, 14) than those who participate for more altruistic 43 leanings. In one study, the number of hours volunteered even increased steadily with the obtaining of specific (self-interested) benefits (Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 2004). Parallel to non-environmental volunteering, altruism in itself was not seen to be enough to generate maintain volunteer support in much of the environmentally oriented literature. For example, Martinez (1998) determined that satisfaction of self-oriented motivations, like forming social networks, distinguished active from nonactive members in both groups that participated in her research. Similarly, Manzo and Weinstein (1987) found that active members were more likely to cite fulfilling more self-directed reasons, like club outings and friendships, for their involvement than nonactive members, while in Donald’s (1997) study active volunteers held more personal motivations, like career development and forming friendships, than did their less active counterparts. 2.6.2 – Social Dimensions of Helping Behaviours There are a number of dimensions to the social aspects of helping behaviours. Some of these dimensions, such as early socialization processes and social norms, act upon individuals in their decisions about participation. Other social factors, like networking and making new friends, may be brought about through the actions of individuals undertaking helping behaviours. The next three parts of the dissertation review literature related to these dimensions of the social aspects of volunteer motivations: socialization; social pressures and norms; and social networking and 44 making friends. The last part also includes a unique expression of social interactions found for environmental volunteers – teamwork and group solidarity. Early Socialization and Helping Behaviours The literature on early socialization and helping behaviours suggests that development of a ‘participatory personality’ might start at a young age. Studies demonstrate that those who volunteered in their youth (Independent Sector, 2002, 5; Rehberg, 2005, 121), and who were involved in other social capital activities such as being active in sports and religious groups, and having parents who volunteered (Hall et al. 2009), are much more likely to be volunteers as adults than those who did not have these socializing influences when they were younger. However, other research suggests that these early experiences must be mediated to be successful in leading to later volunteering. Participatory experiences as a youth that also foster the development of a sense of personal responsibility, a wish to contribute to one’s community, and/or the value of active citizenship are more likely to predict later volunteering than civic participation alone (Janoski et al., 1998; Reed and Selbee 2000, 14). The influence of family socialization through the ‘activity and example of the parents’ also has a ‘powerful influence’ in the volunteer participation of children (Janoski and Wilson, 1995, 285). 45 Early Experiences in Nature and Later Environmentalism Early life experiences also seem to have an impact on later environmentalism. For example, research on environmental education programs shows that such programs can lead to changes in attitudes and behaviours of youth if these programs also involve ‘training in ecological citizenship12’ (Bogner, 1998). Additionally, a ‘life-long tie to the environment’ may act as a motivation for later volunteering (Peers, 2007, 119). In related research a study on ERB performance in the general population in Germany showed emotional affinity toward and interest in nature were found to trace “back to experiences in nature with significant others”. Such interest and affinity, in turn, were predictive of behavioural decisions and willingness to protect nature (Kals et al., 1999). In research with environmental professionals13 in the UK, it was found that “the most influential factor in developing personal concern for the environment is childhood experiences of nature and the countryside… [combined with]… family and other adults in awakening and fostering such interests” (Palmer and Suggate, 1996). Similar results were found among environmental professionals in the U.S. and Norway (Chawla, 1999) and in the early literature on the topic (Chawla, 1998). 12 This finding was only true of programs of at least five days. One day programs showed changes in knowledge but not behaviours one month after the program (Bogner 1998). 13 The professionals in the studies cited here included occupations like environmental educators, planners, and conservationists. No studies were found on early life experiences on environmental volunteers. Questions are included in the survey relating to ‘having played in nature as a child’ and ‘being taught to volunteer as a child’ to examine these socialization effects on the volunteers in this study. 46 Everyone Will Love You for It! – The Role of Peer Pressure and Social Norms Social norms and peer pressures play a role in a variety of behaviours that might relate to environmental volunteering. The next three parts of the dissertation present findings from research related to ‘impressing important others’ (Clary et al., 1998, 1518) or ‘conforming to normative influences’ (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51) in the social item of the VFI and VMI models. The first part illustrates the influence of social norms on ERB. This is followed by a similar examination of norms and community service activities. Finally, research outlined on the ways that peer pressures relate to participation in the environmental movement is discussed. Peer Pressure, Social Norms and ERB Social structures in one’s community (Dietz et al., 1998) and activities leading to feelings of belonging in one’s community (Geller, 1995) can generate and shape beliefs and norms leading to greater environmentalism. However, community and social structures and norms may also deter ERB (Stern, 2000a and 2000b), even if a pro-environmental attitude is present in some of the individuals involved (Fransson and Gärling, 1999). In practice, research has demonstrated the influence of social norms and peer pressure on ERB. Descriptive (‘what everyone is doing’) and injunctive (‘what ought to be done’) norms were found to influence littering behaviours (Cialdini et al., 1990). Similarly, peer pressures and social norms were found to act on: educating oneself on recycling and environmentally friendly products (Minton and Rose, 1997), 47 composting and improving water efficiency (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000), and curbside recycling programs (Oskamp et al., 1991). Peer Pressure, Social Norms and Community Activity Peer pressures and norms also act on decisions to participate in community service. For instance, being ‘induced by friends or relatives’ can support the decision to volunteer (Sokolowski, 1996, 274). In other cases, people might become volunteers due to influences such as their employers’ emphasis on “visible social responsibility”, or due to their religious congregations’ pressure to do community service (Scheier, 1980, 9). Although some research has shown those who join volunteer groups in response to peer pressure were “likely to be less committed than those for whom a social motivation was less important” (Zappalà and Burrell, 2001, 18), other studies refute these findings. To illustrate, formal and informal ‘normative socialization’ communications within the group can increase volunteer commitment (Knoke, 1981, 151). Plus, having a ‘facilitator’ in the group who helps to create a social connection and normative context can encourage people to both join and to maintain their participation in volunteer organizations (Wymer, 1997). Often people initiate volunteering through being asked by an ‘important other’. In the U.S., about 42% of volunteers said they became involved with their groups because they were asked, usually by someone they knew like a friend or spouse already involved in the organization (Sokolowski, 1996). Having networks of family 48 and/or friends involved in volunteerism also increased the likelihood of volunteering for Swiss youth (Rehberg, 2005, 121). In Canada, nearly half of the volunteers (47%) indicated that they started volunteering because they had friends who were already involved (Hall et al., 2009, 48). Conversely, not quite half (44%) of nonvolunteers in Canada listed ‘not being asked’ as a barrier to volunteering (Hall et al., 2009, 51). In another area of civic activity, having friends within a protest demonstration can lead to greater participation (Leighly, 1996), and knowing that nonparticipation “would have to be justified to friends and acquaintances” leads to greater actual participation among those who had friends in the organization than among those who did not (Klandermans and Oegema, 1987, 529). Peer Pressure, Social Norms and Environmental Participation Findings relating peer pressure and community activism are mirrored by studies on for environmental activism, where having social ties with those in the organization can increase participation (Tindall, 2002 and 2004). In other types of environmental organizations, those within the organization can have a strong influence on the recruitment of others (Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 284), where some conservation volunteers indicated that they enjoyed their experiences so much that they recruited others to the program (Bradford and Israel, 2004, 3). Finally, reflective of community service volunteering, not being asked to 49 participate was cited as a barrier by nonparticipants in environmental stewardship volunteering (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 105). Friends, Networking and Environmental Volunteering Social interaction or having opportunities to “make friends and to develop social ties through [one’s] work” (Omoto and Snyder, 1995, 673) or to “build social networks and [enjoy] the social aspects of interacting with others” (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 8) is the third aspect of socially oriented motivations that may encourage volunteering. The wish to make friends and network has mixed results in studies on environmental volunteers. In some research, social interaction was given only moderate (Still and Gerhold, 1997, 119), mixed (Measham and Barnett, 2007), or even low (Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 71; Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 283) volunteer ratings. Conversely, in other research the volunteers placed high value on the friendships and social opportunities they had through their participation with their groups (Christie 2004, 5; Finch, 1997, 374; Gooch, 2005, 18; Haas, 2000, 35; Peers, 2007, 119; Ryan et al., 2001, 637; Schroeder, 2000, 255) as well as on opportunities to meet people in their communities (Austin, 2002, 182). Additionally, making friends within the group may support continued participation (Peers, 2007, 122), even if this motivation was not part of the volunteers’ original intention for joining the group (Bradford and Israel, 2004, 3). 50 Studies on social interactions within environmental groups also indicate that these contacts can increase levels of satisfaction among the volunteers (Gooch, 2005, 18; Schroeder, 2000, 256). Social interaction is has also been linked with higher levels of participation (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 105; Manzo and Weinstein, 1987, 687; Martinez, 1998, 21; Martinez and McMullin, 2004, 117), and continued support (Donald, 1997, 495). In contrast, not having opportunities to make new friends can be a deterrent to participation, causing burnout and dropout among volunteers (Martinez, 1998, 18 -19). We’re All in It Together – Teamwork and Environmental Volunteering One social dimension of motivation was found for participants in the environmental movement but is not generally seen in other volunteering literature. This dimension involves the concept of teamwork or group solidarity. Often, environmental volunteers express their satisfaction with social interactions not so much in relation to ‘making friends’ but in a context of commonality and shared goals within their groups. These volunteers enjoy working with ‘like minded others’ (Gooch 2002, 27; Gooch 2004, 206), meeting people with shared interests (Haas, 2000, 35), and the camaraderie that comes from working on a team to accomplish worthy goals (Blonariz and Dennis, 1996, 77; Fisk, 1995, 78-79; Justice, 2007, 38). Having a sense of belonging (Gooch, 2005, 18) and building community (Fisk, 1995, 79; Justice, 2007, 40; Schroeder, 2000, 256) through being a member of a team were also cited as important factors for environmental volunteers. 51 2.6.3 – Understanding – A Poorly Named Function What’s in a Name? This part of the dissertation looks at aspects of environmental volunteering motivations related to ‘learning new things’ (e.g. Clary et al., 1998, 1518) and ‘finding out about the world’ (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 51). Although these motivations are called ‘understanding’ in the VFI and VMI models, this motivational function might be better named ‘understanding and skills’ or ‘learning and skills’, as they deal with learning new things and skills, as well as using skills one already has. As might be expected, the environmental literature also often highlights a function related to these motivations that is not usually noted in literature on other helping behaviours. Here, environmental volunteers also enjoy having opportunities to teach others (an idea that is developed further below). Because of the multifaceted nature of the ‘understanding’ function, in this dissertation it is referred to instead as ‘knowledge and skills’ as the latter seems to more readily capture all aspects of this motivational item including gaining, sharing, and using knowledge and skills. Learning from the Ground, and Water, Up Opportunities to learn new things characterize many environmental volunteering experiences and are appreciated by environmental volunteers. Such opportunities may act as strong motivators for these participants (Donald, 1997, 495; Finch, 1997, 373; Grese et al., 2000, 271; King and Lynch, 1998, 8; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 71; 52 Schrock et al., 2000b, 628; Still and Gerhold, 1997, 119). Further, opportunities related to learning and skills were related to higher levels of satisfaction among the volunteers (Gooch, 2005, 18), and higher levels of participation (Christie, 2004, 3; Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 105; Donald, 1997, 495). Finally, the lack of opportunities to learn new skills can lead to burnout and the discontinuation of participation among environmental volunteers (Martinez, 1998, 128 & 129). Because of the nature of this type of volunteering, opportunities are presented to learn about many aspects of the natural environment. Volunteers value learning about conservation issues (e.g. Bell, 2003, 26), as well as about local ecosystems, habitats, wildlife and issues (Christie, 2004, 5; Schroeder, 2000, 254), and about specific species of plants and animals (Bradford and Israel, 2004, 3; Evans et al., 2005, 590; Ryan et al., 2001, 637). Learning about environmental issues specific to the group and techniques to resolve or mitigate these concerns were also reported as being important to environmental volunteers (Fisk, 1995, 83; Gooch, 2005, 12; Haas, 2000, 36; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 15; Peers, 2007; Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 284; Schrock et al., 2000a, 7; Simonson and Pals, 1990, 2). On top of learning about issues related to the environment, some volunteers also noted other skills they gained through their participation as being important to them. Stewardship volunteers in Australia felt empowered and motivated because they were able to develop “personal skills and confidence...to speak to influential people” (Gooch, 2004, 204). “Learning how to use the skills of group members to effect 53 changes in their communities” was also viewed as an important reason for reasons for continued participation for these volunteers (Gooch, 2004, 202). Personal empowerment was also valued by other Australian volunteers in a variety of environmental groups (Measham and Barnett, 2007, 19). In related research in the US, restoration volunteers appreciated the leadership and planning skills they gained from their experiences, as well as ‘people skills’ like being able to work on a team, communicate with one another, and to organize a group (Fisk, 1995). Finally, Streamkeepers in Canada noted learning about “social dynamics and other people” as a benefit of their volunteering (Peers 2007, 116). Spreading the Word – Teaching and Environmental Volunteering Environmental volunteers do not just appreciate opportunities to gain knowledge and skills, many also enjoy having opportunities to share their knowledge and to teach others in their groups (Fisk, 1995, 81-85; Gooch, 2005, 13; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 71), as well as those in wider audiences, serving a ‘public awareness’ or ‘public education’ function (Bell, 2003, 26; Christie, 2004, 5; Gooch, 2005, 11-13; Haas, 2000, 34; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 20; Peers, 2007, 119; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 20). These findings are particularly interesting, as this teaching aspect of volunteer motivation was not found in the more general volunteer literature. 54 2.6.4 – What Finer Work… – Accomplishment and Environmental Volunteering What finer work than healing the Earth, where the rewards are both in the doing and the results? -Jim Dodge14 Feeling a sense of accomplishment15 might be a motivation that is of particular importance to environmental volunteers, especially those working in hands on projects because it is clear that a big part of what makes stewardship work compelling, outside of its innate importance, is that it is an opportunity – a rare opportunity – for a person to have a direct, tangible, positive effect on his or her environment. (Jill Riddell, as quoted by Ross 1994, 58) In fact, many of the studies cited in this review that involve some type of hands on or infield environmental work show accomplishment as a contributing factor to volunteer participation (e.g. Gooch 2004, 15; Grese et al., 2000, 275; Haas, 2000, 34; Justice, 2007, 37; Manzo and Weinstein, 1987, 687; Measham and Barnett, 2007; Ryan et al., 2001; Schroeder, 2000, 254). Seeing and celebrating tangible results of stewardship volunteering efforts can lead to feelings of empowerment (Christie, 2004, 5), satisfaction (Gooch, 2005, 18; Schroeder, 2000, 254), meaningfulness (Miles, 1998, 33), and usefulness (Haas, 2000, 34), as well as group solidarity and personal well-being among stewardship volunteers (Fisk, 1995). 14 See Dodge (1981/2001). This motivational item is generally shortened to ‘accomplishment’ for discussions in this dissertation. 15 55 Feeling a sense of personal achievement may also be a factor in distinguishing active members of a group from those who do not participate regularly in a group’s activities (Manzo and Weinstein, 1987, 687). This motivation may also relate to the decision to join a group that is active in hands on work rather than one that ‘sympathetic’, but not active in hands on stewardship projects (Still and Gerhold, 1997, 119). Finally, successes of other, similar groups may prompt people to volunteer with stewardship projects in their own communities (Curtis and Van, Nouhuys 1999). Accomplishment is viewed as a self-reinforcing motivation. Active members feel this emotion when projects are successfully carried out, which reinforces their decision to take an active role with the group. In contrast, nonactive members do not realize or cite this benefit as a reason for their membership (Manzo and Weinstein, 1987, 689; Martinez and McMullin, 2004, 122). The importance of accomplishment is further emphasized in studies on environmental volunteering constraints. In these studies, not feeling a sense of personal achievement was a factor often listed one of the most important barriers and sources of burnout for environmental volunteers (e.g. Byron and Curtis, 2001, 322; Byron and Curtis, 2002, 64; Byron et al., 2001, 908; Martinez, 1998, 120). 56 2.6.5 – Just for the Fun of It – Personal Welfare and Environmental Volunteering Although the VFI and VMI models offer a number of items that might be said to relate to personal welfare (e.g. ‘enhancement’/’self-esteem’ and ‘protective’), aspects of personal welfare highlighted in the environmental volunteering literature do not generally seem to coincide with those found in the VFI and VMI models. Opportunities to work outside in natural environments are unique to environmental volunteering. Often, aspects of personal welfare that are emphasized in the environmental volunteering literature relate to these opportunities to be in contact with nature, and finding the volunteering to be fun and enjoyable. For the personal welfare motivations, every part of the experience seemed to make an impression on volunteers with “seeing, hearing, smelling, breathing and sensing in a natural setting [all being] reported as a pleasurable aspect of the experience” (Fisk, 1995, 70). Volunteers in environmental organizations generally took enjoyment from their experiences working with nature (Austin, 2002, 182; Christie, 2004, 5; Haas, 2000, 36; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 71) and from the activities undertaken by the group (Bell, 2003, 23; Fisk, 1995, 74). Some volunteers also became involved with hands on volunteering to stay active (BC MOE, 2007; King and Lynch, 1998, 8; Peers, 2007, 123), because they sought opportunities to reflect in or interact with nature (Grese et al., 2000, 271; Haas, 2000, 36; Peers, 2007, 120), or to develop stronger relationships with nature (Fisk, 1995, 69; Haas, 2000, 36). Further, Gooch (2002, 29) found “a sense of wonder in local natural areas” interacted with other factors to 57 reinforce volunteers’ motivation to participate in helping these spaces. Finally, aspects related to nature enjoyment can be not just initiating motivators for participation, but also reasons to continue volunteering with a group (Peers, 2007). 2.6.6 – Summary of Environmental Volunteering Motivations Table 2.2 includes findings from the majority of the studies on environmental volunteering or participating that were used in this dissertation16. This table summarizes five main categories of motivations, which were identified in the literature as supporting environmental volunteering. These categories include values and altruism, the social aspects of participation, knowledge and skills, gaining a sense of accomplishment from the work, and personal welfare. Blank spaces on the table indicate areas that were not addressed by a particular study. In some cases, it is likely that certain motivations were not highly applicable to the volunteering in question. For example, Master Gardener volunteering tends to focus on environmental education, which does not generally have tangible results, making it difficult to achieve a sense of accomplishment in the same way that stewardship volunteers might. 16 Table 2.2 includes mainly studies that looked at a variety of motivational aspects of environmental volunteering. Studies taking a particular focus are not included on the table, but are cited, as applicable, throughout the text. 58 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations Study Austin (2002) Bell (2003) Type of Volunteering Values and Altruism Social Aspects Knowledge and Skills Local knowledge seen as Working together draws important part of on and generates maintaining improved neighbourhood social ties spaces Tree Planting - Vacant lot improvement Helping and creating something for the neighbourhood of high priority Conservation Helping environment, the organization, and future Benefits to community generations second empowerment through fourth in highlighted motivational rankings Making friends appreciated but not initial Moderately important motivation + Many motivation volunteers acted to recruit other volunteers Concern for turtles and other people most and second-most important motivations BC MOE (2007) Stewardship Wish to support healthy environments + solve an Socializing scored 10th environmental problem of 12 motivations top two motivators Bromwell-Winter (2003) U.S. National Park Christie (2004) Bushcare Giving back to the environment most frequently cited motivation Participants enjoyed Learning about issues social contacts and increased participation working with larger group Landcare Concerns about land degradation and wish to solve national issues cited Social interaction 'powerful motivating force' teaching others scored fifth, learning and using skills were 8th and 6th, respectively Personal Welfare Working with nature' highest ranking motivation Raising awareness and understanding of "Seeing results…makes conservation issues seen people feel more as high benefit + responsible" (26) volunteers value learning opportunities Bradford and Israel Turtle Conservation (2004) Curtis and Van Nouhuys (1999) Accomplishment Enjoyment of volunteer work most important benefit to volunteers Feeling that sea turtles were being helped related to volunteer contentment Personal achievement only scored 9th Being active in the outdoors was 3rd highest motivator Indirectly measured Word-of-mouth important through satisfaction with recruitment tool training, which was mixed Desire for learning 'powerful motivator' Experiences in nature led most people to participating with program Success of other Landcare projects 'important' to 'very important' in decisions to join 59 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations Continued Study Type of Volunteering Values and Altruism Social Aspects Educational Aspects Accomplishment Donald (1997) Learning about problems Reasons to join included Developed friendships' and solutions in Success of group sense of responsibility Watershed Stewardship was number one reason watershed cited as motivation for ongoing toward and wish to help support for ongoing participation reason for ongoing environment participation Finch (1997) Master Gardener Opportunity for community-service' ranked second Interacting with other gardeners ranked third Ranked highest Fisk (1995) Restoration Restoration seen as allowing volunteers to nurture and repair damaged natural areas Working together as a community to accomplish shared goals valued by volunteers People enjoyed learning restoration skills and about nature + teaching these things to others Gooch (2002) Catchment (watershed) 'Giving back' to nature strong motivator Volunteers have more social interaction contacts than nonvolunteers Local knowledge in combination with other information helps build commitment to work Helping the environment Social items received a 'chief motivation' only mid-range ratings Grese et al. (2000) Restoration Haas (2000) Justice (2007) Save Our Streams Protecting the environment "by far the most important motivation" (38) Time spent with friends, family and neighbours enjoyed by volunteers + meeting people with similar interests important Fish-Habitat Rehabilitation 'Giving back to the environment and/or community' "most substantial volunteer motivation" (37) Desire for camaraderie commonly cited motivation + developing sense of community important Personal Welfare Enjoyment of work a reason for increased participation See social aspects The wish to develop a stronger relationship with nature was the primary motivation for volunteering Exploring and learning new things 'important benefits' Making a tangible difference important Personal reflection and restoration positive but not highly rated Volunteers showed a 'genuine desire' to teach others + learning about techniques and macroinvertebrates acted as motivators Feeling a sense of accomplishment, seeing tangible results and being useful highest ratings in factor 'Nature enjoyment' was factored in analyses included having fun, reflection, stress reduction, enjoying being outdoors and observing wildlife Gaining a sense of accomplishment and effecting change viewed as important by most respondents 60 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations Continued Study Type of Volunteering Values and Altruism Social Aspects Educational Aspects Nature Conservancy 'Helping nature' most frequently cited reason and listed as strongest motivator by majority of volunteers Social items received mixed ratings from list and second lowest on strongest motivator choices Manzo and Weinstein (1987) Sierra Club Both active and nonactive members cited environmental concerns as reasons for joining Having friends already in club and making new friends correlates to higher activity levels Martinez (1998) and Martinez & McMullin (2004) Appalachian Trail construction and maintenance Helping nature and supporting the organization strongest motivators Having and making social connections within group helps maintain active participation Not having opportunities to learn new skills or for personal growth contributes to burnout and decisions to stop participating Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Active members have higher feelings of contributing to the group, and helping to protect elk and their habitats than nonactive members Social interactions increased participation, while not meeting new people prevented it Not learning new skills was a strong reason for discontinuing active participation Various environmental 'modes' Volunteers expressed wish to 'make the world a better place' and 'do something for the future' Social interaction valued in one region but not the other - both saw 'social cohesion' as important Self-empowerment important + 'community education' was a "major focus" (20) King & Lynch (1998) Martinez (1998) Measham and Barnett (2007) Accomplishment Personal Welfare Learning new skills cited third most often from list, but rated lowest as strongest motivator A sense of accomplishment in doing activities related to being active "Developing a sense of making a difference" was Attachment to the valued (19) + "specific environment is a strong local change" motivator emphasized by some (16) 61 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations Continued Study Peers (2007) Type of Volunteering Streamkeepers Values and Altruism Social Aspects Social aspects enhanced learning experiences + 'Giving something back' socializing was most to nature was cited by common personal most as a motivation motivator + friendships within group supported continued participation Knowledge and Skills A variety of ecological, social, and political learning opportunities cited as benefits of volunteering + sharing 'passion' and public outreach acted as motivators Accomplishment Connection to local area and water acted as Rehabilitating the creek motivator + 'enjoyment' was an expectation cited of activities cited as by many volunteers reason for continued participation Roggenbuck et al. Save Our Streams (2000) Protecting environment and being of service top and fourth most important motivators in survey Learning and teaching in Social motivations low for top three motivators for survey group survey Rohs and Master Gardener Westerfield (1996) Contributing to community and society of second value + benefitting the local, state and national economy was third Not of high rank, but other people played a role in influencing decision to volunteer Ryan et al. (2001) 'Helping the environment' was most highly rated motivation Social motivations of meeting new people, and Learning new things Seeing tangible results working with familiar received second highest highly rated ones rated fourth among ratings volunteers Restoration Personal Welfare Opportunities for adult learning were most valued Enjoyment of nature also valued 62 Table 2.2 Summary of Environmental Volunteer Motivations Continued Study Type of Volunteering Values and Altruism Social Aspects Benefits related to VFI social function were lowest ranked of six functions used Knowledge and Skills Schrock et al. (2000a) Master Gardener Benefits related to VFI values function rated third Schrock et al. (2000b) Master Gardener Altruism and educational Reasons related social opportunties given functions given low equally high priority by priority volunteers See Values and Altruism Restoration Aiding nature and threatened species seen as 'basic purpose' and strong motivator. Helping future generations also part of overall goal "Volunteers also enjoy learning and sharing knowledge about native plants and animals and about restoration techniques" (254) Master Gardener “A little surprising was the fact that only four Master Gardeners (5.6%) joined the program with the primary goal of helping others!” (2) Urban Forestry Desire to help/improve neighbourhood was of greatest importance Schroeder (2000) Simonson and Pals (1990) Still and Gerhold 1997 Making friends and being part of group important + feeling sense of community and teamwork with group increases satisfaction and participation Accomplishment Greatest benefits were related to this function ‘Increasing knowledge for their own use’ cited by 51% of the volunteers (by far the most common choice) Wanting social interaction rated third + Desire for education' was being asked was a ranked second strong reason to join the program Volunteers "take great satisfaction in seeing the tangible results of their labor" (254) Personal Welfare 63 2.6.6 – Other Motivators A number of other reasons for volunteering were identified in the environmental literature. These are motivators that were found to be important in a few of the studies but were not identified consistently across the research on environmental volunteering. The lack of generality might be due to two reasons: i) only the volunteers in the cited studies actually identified these factors as important to them or ii) the differences in the structure and wording of the questions put to participants in each study led to differences in the results across the literature. It is likely both influences had a role. However, these ‘other motivations’ are considered briefly below, because they might be potential reasons for volunteering for the study at hand. What’s in It for Me? Some of the environmental volunteers in the reviewed literature did value a number of personal and psychological benefits related to the ‘enhancement’/‘self-esteem’ and ‘protective’ and ‘reactivity’ categories of the VFI and VMI lists. Although not found consistently across the environmental volunteering literature, the recognition function also should not be ignored. Among the more self-directed types of motivations and benefits, the following were found to be important to volunteers in a variety of different types of environmental organizations: 64 the ability to improve one’s self-esteem or self-worth (Gooch, 2004; Schrock et al., 2000a, 4; Schrock et al., 2000b, 628); opportunities to gain knowledge about one’s self (Simonson and Pals, 1990, 2); mechanisms to feel empowered and gain confidence (Christie 2004, 5; Gooch, 2004 and 2005); chances to deal with negative emotions and personal difficulties (Gooch, 2004, 203); and opportunities to find meaning and focus in one’s life (Gooch, 2005, 14). Motivations related to the VMI ‘recognition’ function were also highlighted in some studies. For example, in one study on Master Gardeners the status of being part of the organization received the highest ratings from the volunteers, (Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 283). Other research however, shows that the wish to be recognized may depend on the level of involvement, where volunteers that are more active gave lower scores to this item ‘rookie’ volunteers (Haas, 2000, 39). The recognition function is often discussed in relation to volunteer deterrents, where feelings of being unrecognized or unappreciated discouraged participation and generated negative feelings and burnout in volunteers (Bell, 2003, 31; Byron and Curtis, 2002, 64; Byron et al., 2001, 907; Curtis, 1999, 7; Martinez, 1998, 120). As Johnson (1995, 31) points out “people who volunteer their time and expertise to benefit their community appreciate recognition.” 65 Unpaid Experience to Support Paid Employment Advancing one’s career did not generally seem to be of great importance in the literature dealing with environmental volunteers (e.g. Bradford and Israel, 2004, 2; BC MOE, 2007; King and Lynch, 1998, 8; Roggenbuck et al., 2001, 44; Schrock et al., 2000b, 628). However, this VFI/VMI item was identified as a motivator in two of these studies. First, in one Master Gardener study volunteers rated ‘gaining knowledge for their jobs’ of high importance for joining the program (Simonson and Pals, 1990, 2). Second, in a study on stewardship volunteering in Toronto, active volunteers were encouraged in their continued participation by opportunities to enhance their career experience (Donald, 1997, 495). They Made Me Do It! – Mandatory Volunteering One final reason for volunteering is discussed here, even though it is not highlighted in the VFI/VMI models, or even often in the volunteering literature. This motivation relates to ‘mandatory volunteering’, which is volunteering in order to fulfill a specific requirement, like high school credits. Mandatory volunteering is somewhat controversial. In some cases, cautions have been raised because the public views ‘mandatory volunteering’ as less valid than participation that is truly done by a person’s own free will (Cnaan et al., 1996; Handy et al., 2000). These perceptions might then undermine the value of the community service done (Sobus, 1995) and potentially ‘debase’ volunteerism, civic engagement, and “the deeply embedded Canadian tradition of community involvement” (Graff, 2006, 13). 66 Additionally, it has been argued that while ‘mandatory volunteering’ is often presented as a strategy to increase the amount of community service done in a society, in the long-term it may actually have quite the opposite effect of turning people off from volunteering, including those who might other have pursued these activities on their own (Sobus, 1995; Stukas et al., 1999). Despite the controversies and concerns around mandatory volunteerism, ‘volunteering as a requirement’ was included on the survey instrument for the study at hand. During the development of this instrument, a number of situations were identified where respondents to the questionnaire might ‘have to’ perform this community service, including: fulfilling Master Gardener volunteering requirements, completing high school community service credits, and increasing one’s welfare payments. All of these reasons were raised in discussions with stewardship coordinators and related personnel during the development of the survey instrument. It is not known whether other requirements, e.g. participating because one’s company requires its employees to volunteer to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities, or being sentenced in court, are included as reasons to volunteer in this study. A final concern specific to the study at hand was raised that the motivation for mandatory volunteers might be self-evident – they participate because they must. However, the requirement to volunteer does not generally specify that this 67 community service be done in a stewardship setting, so it might still be interesting to explore how volunteers chose this type of volunteering instead of one of the many other options open to them. 2.7 – Barriers to Helping Behaviours This section of the dissertation outlines the opposite side of decisions on helping behaviours – factors that decrease or even prevent participation. Identifying barriers for volunteering is as important to understanding volunteering decisions as determining motivations. When barriers are identified, volunteer managers can, as much as possible, reduce these barriers in order to recruit and maintain volunteer support. During the discussions in the previous section on volunteer motivations, it was noted a number of times that not fulfilling specific motivations or achieving certain benefits acted as a deterrent to volunteering. Beyond these types of barriers to volunteering however, a number of other constraints have been identified in the literature that act as barriers to helping activities. The ‘new’ constraints generally fall into three general categories: individual, grouprelated, and task-related. Each category is discussed separately below and includes findings from both the community service and environmental volunteering literature. 68 Although this section is divided into three categories, the literature shows that, as for motivations, several barriers may exist for the same behaviour, and different people may be hindered by for different reasons (Kollmuss and Ageyman, 2002). Researchers caution that steps must be taken to identify and remove constraints or people will not participate, even when they otherwise have the motivation to do so (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000). Details from the literature reviewed on volunteer constraints were important in the development of the survey instrument. Section 3.6.6 in the next chapter details 11 constraint items that were included on the survey instrument, and which were developed from the literature review. 2.7.1 – Individual Barriers to Participation Individuals experience a number of constraints in their lives that deter or prevent helping behaviours. These constraints to participation often relate to personal costs and to conflicts between participation and other obligations and concerns in an individual’s life. Sometimes barriers also relate to an individual’s interests, abilities, or feelings about their volunteering experiences. When looking at the ‘costs and conflicts’ of volunteering, lack of time has consistently been found as one of the main deterrents to greater participation in community service volunteering. It was the most commonly cited limiting factor in large studies done in Canada (Hall et al., 2009, 50), and the U.S. (Braker et al., 2000, 7; U.S. Bureau, 2004, 4), and where items like being ‘too busy’ showed it to 69 be the second most limiting factor to volunteering in Australia (Esmond and Dunlop 2004, 61). Having other commitments or obligations that conflict with volunteering (Braker et al., 2000, 7; Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 61; U.S. Bureau, 2004, 4) was also identified as a constraint to volunteering. Time and commitments to other matters were seen as a main limiting factor in preventing people from being active in environmental volunteering too (e.g. Byron and Curtis, 2001, 321; Curtis, 2000; Donald, 1997, 496; Haas, 2000, 44; Martinez, 1998, 118; Martinez and McMullin, 2004, 117). Moreover, the concern of balancing volunteer commitments with other areas of one’s life is a contributing factor in environmental volunteer burnout (Gooch, 2005, 9). Illustratively, several studies found that those volunteers who donated the most time reported the highest levels of burnout (e.g. Byron and Curtis, 2001, 322; Byron and Curtis, 2002, 63; Curtis, 1999, 7; Martinez, 1998, 120 and 128). Other individual constraints identified for volunteering include: not having interest (Hall et al., 2009, 50); health concerns (U.S. Bureau, 2004); the required effort, having to attend meetings, and interpersonal conflicts (Wandersman et al. 1987, 547); frustration and fatigue (Braker et al., 2000, 7); having already ‘done enough’ and having given money instead of volunteering (Hall et al., 2009, 50); and lacking skills, education, and/or training to participate (Oliver, 1984, 608; Wilson and Musick, 1997). 70 It’s all in how You Look at It In relation to individual barriers, some research shows that perceptions of costs may be as much of a deterrent to participation as the actual costs themselves. Rowland (1990, 2) found that even when controlling for relative levels of other commitments, time was still rated as more of a barrier among non-volunteers than volunteers. Similarly, Wandersman and his colleagues (1987, 547) learned that “nonmembers [of neighbourhood organizations] rate the costs of participation significantly higher than the members”. On further analyses these researchers determined that the difference in ratings might be due to the fact that many nonmembers “have an inaccurate perception of the costs or…their perception of members is based on the highly visible members (that is, leaders) who actually do work harder and bear more costs” (Wandersman et al., 1987, 551). 2.7.2 – Group-Related Barriers to Participation Group-related barriers to participation tend to involve one of three issues, the treatment of the volunteers within their groups (including by leaders, staff and other volunteers), the groups’ structures, and group resources. These three issues are discussed below. Group Treatment and Volunteer (Dis)Satisfaction The treatment of the volunteers within their groups is vital to maintaining volunteer support. In fact, feelings of being “dismissed, unwanted or ignored” may lead to 71 high levels of dissatisfaction and withdrawal by community service volunteers (Reistma-Street et al., 2000, 660), and feelings of not being appreciated can be a “major reason for volunteers leaving an organization” (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 50). Conversely, feeling valued, appreciated, and that the group generally cares about one’s feelings can decrease volunteer withdrawal intentions (Farmer and Fedor, 1999, 360). Who Is in Charge Here Anyway? – Group Disorganization as a Constraint Group structure might also deter volunteer participation. In some cases, environmental volunteers enjoyed the flexibility and support provided by their volunteering programs (Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 283; Schrock et al., 2000a, 7). However, many others were discouraged from participation due to disorganization and lack of management in their groups (e.g. Bell, 2003, 32; Donald, 1997, 496; Gooch, 2002, 24). The perception that the group leader is inadequate is a related variable that also acts to deter participation and increase burnout (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 322). Do You Have What It Takes? – Group Resources as a Constraint Group resources are another aspect of group-related volunteer constraints. Research has shown that community service organizations with lower financial resources with which to achieve their goals also have lower levels of volunteer commitment (Knoke, 1981, 151). 72 Studies on burnout in environmental volunteering organizations mirror Knoke’s results. Feelings that a group lacks the necessary resources, like computer technology, funding and adequate volunteer support, to accomplish its goals prevented people from being active in environmental organizations and led to burnout among those who were active in Australia (e.g. Byron and Curtis, 2001, 324; Byron and Curtis 2002, 62; Byron et al., 2001, 906) and in the U.S. (Martinez, 1998, 17, 19). 2.7.3 – Task-Related Barriers to Participation Only one study was found that specifically dealt with an often-overlooked area of barriers to volunteer participation, that of the volunteers not enjoying the types of activities assigned to them. In his study of volunteers for charitable campaigning, Dailey (1986, 29) noted “task characteristics were important predictors of job satisfaction” where “job satisfaction [in turn] was the single most important determinant of organizational commitment” (Dailey, 1986, 29). Although not found commonly in the literature, dissatisfaction with the types of tasks being done may be of particular importance to environmental volunteers. Recall that enjoyment of the activities and tasks was found to be a strong motivator for many environmental volunteers. If enjoyment of the work is a motivator for joining and staying active with an environmental group, then lack of enjoyment or satisfaction with the nature of the tasks involved must be considered as a potential deterrent. 73 2.8 – Environmental Volunteering and Citizenship As discussed earlier, this research is focussed primarily on issues related to recruiting and maintaining support for stewardship volunteering. However, because the opportunity presented itself, some questions were included on the participant surveys relating to ideas that hands on environmental volunteering might lead to the development of an environmental ethic and/or greater environmental citizenship in these volunteers (e.g. Harvey and Greer, 2004, 60; Jordan, 2000; Light, 2002, 2004, and 2005; Mitchell and Diamant, 1998; Rosenau and Angelo, 2001; Ross, 1994). It is argued that meaningful experiences in nature obtained by environmental volunteers allows for the development of a “healing relationship with the natural world” (Miles et al., 1998, 39). Although studies on the relationships between environmental stewardship and citizenship are not as abundant as related theories or anecdotal stories, emerging research does suggest a connection. In several studies, hands on environmental volunteers were found to have different perceptions of urban park spaces than other park users. For example, restoration volunteers may see these spaces as being in degraded, unnatural conditions, struggling against pressures like invasive exotic species and urbanization. These volunteers see the park spaces as being in urgent need of help (Grese et al., 2000; Schroeder, 2000). The restoration volunteers may also tend to prefer management 74 for natural rather than manicured qualities (Ryan 2000, 213). In contrast, other park users may view the same unmanaged patches of non-native species as ‘naturally’ occurring and able to sustain themselves with minimal or no human management activities (Helford, 2000; Ryan, 2000; Vining et al., 2000), while seeing naturalized areas as ‘wild’, unsafe, or ‘overgrown’ (Ryan, 2000, 214). Different ways of experiencing park spaces may also reflect different forms of attachment people have toward these spaces. Here, both passive park users (e.g. those who viewed the park from windows) and active ones (e.g. those walking or biking through the park) formed place-specific attachments to their park. On the other hand, restoration volunteers and park staff tended to form conceptual attachments, or those related to a particular type of landscape rather than to a specific place (Ryan, 2000, 213). In contrast to the above findings, other studies have found that hands on volunteering in nature can actually generate a greater sense of attachment to and sense of place in the worksite, particularly if the experiences are shared by others with the same goals and values and when stories are created and shared about the landscape (Gooch, 2002). Moreover, environmental volunteers have reported that working in and learning about natural settings while doing restoration work has caused them to develop protective feelings toward both their volunteer site and toward nature in general (Fisk, 1995). This type of volunteering also led to the development of a sense of identity as a ‘steward’ or ‘caretaker’ for the land in these 75 volunteers (Fisk, 1995). Hands on volunteering may also lead restoration volunteers to feel a sense of loss and to have a greater willingness to take actions in response to negative changes to their worksites (Ryan et al., 2001). Changes in environmental behaviours and attitudes through environmental volunteering efforts were noted in some studies. For instance, bushcare volunteers in Australia indicated that they “may have been adopting more environmentallyfriendly practices at home” as a result of their volunteering, even after only attending a ‘one-off’ event (Christie, 2004, 5). Similarly, restoration volunteers in the U.S. agreed with a number of factors, such as creating natural landscapes on their own properties and increased appreciation of nature, when asked about the changes in outlook and behaviour they experienced through their volunteering (Ryan et al., 2001). Monitoring volunteers also showed changes in behaviours towards increasing habitat on their own properties while gaining a greater sense of place through participation (Evans et al., 2005). Finally, using a controlled experiment Bowler and his colleagues (1999) demonstrated that students who had participated more often in fieldwork not only had greater intentions to behave in ecologically responsible ways than their counterparts in the other classes, these fieldwork students also “reported that they engaged in a variety of ecological behaviours to a greater extent than students in each of the control classes...even when social desirability in responding was taken into account” (Bowler et al., 1999). 76 2.9 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead In this chapter, we learned that there is a wide range of factors that might prompt people to take on helping behaviours, including environmental volunteering. The literature also showed that many of these reasons to participate are expressed in unique ways by environmental volunteers. Additionally, while some of the more commonly cited volunteers motivations do not seem to apply widely in an environmental context, two sets of motivations – accomplishment and personal welfare – seem to be applicable only in an environmental setting. In contrast, many of the constraints that are outlined for community service volunteers seem to overlap a great deal with barriers that are commonly cited for environmental volunteers. Although some of these barriers are not within the control of the groups, it is still important to know the factors that reduce or prevent volunteering so that, as much as possible, these barriers may be removed or diminished, allowing greater participation to occur. The last part of Chapter 2 dealt with research related to environmental stewardship and citizenship. While the research in this area is still growing, the available literature suggests that hands on volunteering in the environment may indeed lead to a variety of positive environmental outcomes for the volunteers. The outcomes may include the development of attachment to natural areas and preference for less manicured park spaces, the increased willingness to take action should natural 77 spaces be threatened, and changes in environmental attitudes and behaviours in other areas of one’s life. The literature review suggests a tension in the literature between the general volunteering literature and that specific to participation in the environmental movement. The literature review also suggests areas of contribution for the study at hand. There is not nearly the same basis of research for predicting volunteer motivations for environmental groups in general, or for stewardship groups more specifically, as there is for volunteering in other contexts. From the literature, we may infer that the motivations for stewardship volunteers would be somewhat different than what is predicted by the general volunteering literature. A careful reading of the literature on participation in the environmental movement also allows us to speculate that motivations centred on social factors, accomplishment, learning and teaching, and having fun or enjoying the work might be more predictive of stewardship volunteer motivations than the functions found for more general volunteering situations. Therefore, there is an opportunity for this research to test the motivational functions found in both sets of literature to determine which motivations may be most applicable to stewardship volunteers, and to form a basis for the development of a model for volunteer motivations in this context. Additionally, while this is not the main focus of the research, there is an opportunity to provide much-needed data on 78 theories that relate environmental volunteering to the development of better environmental citizenship. The next chapter, Chapter 3, presents the methodology for this study. It uses findings from the literature to develop the participant survey instrument. The research reviewed in Chapter 2 also provides direction for later data analyses and interpretation (see Chapters 4 and 5). 79 3 – METHODOLOGY 3.1 – Research Design This research was designed in two parts. The main part consists of a survey instrument administered to those who are members of community-based stewardship groups in Metro Vancouver. The second part involves interviews with the coordinators of these groups, where the interviews are meant only as a supplement to the data collected on the questionnaires. This research involved partnering with eleven community-based organizations in Metro Vancouver, including visiting meetings, workdays, and other events for these groups. Details about the groups, the survey instrument, the coordinator interviews, and other aspects of the research methodology are presented in this chapter. 3.2 – Population of Interest The population of interest for this study is volunteers in Canadian community-based environmental stewardship organizations. In particular, the focus is on volunteers who are working with these organizations in Metro Vancouver in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The results from this study are meant to be useful to organizations working in this region. However, it is expected that the research will be of interest to those working with stewardship volunteers in other areas. 80 In this study, research participants were drawn from the partnering groups. Moreover, people at various levels of participation with the partnering groups were sought in order to get different perspectives on stewardship volunteering. 3.3 – The Partnering Stewardship Organizations In all, 11 groups agreed to participate in this research, though support varied from full commitment to sporadic contact with the researcher. As a result, participation by the volunteers also varied from 26 respondents from one group to 1 respondent in another17. 3.3.1 – Finding the Partnering Groups The stewardship groups that participated in this study were sought out in a number of ways including an exhaustive internet search and networking with people who have connections with stewardship activities; as well as referrals from coordinators and volunteers in umbrella groups, supporting agencies (e.g. government), and groups already recruited as part of the study. The primary selection criteria for the groups were that: They are community-based. 17 These numbers are in part a result of the size of the groups involved, where larger groups tended to have larger numbers of respondents. However, response rates between the groups also varied somewhat, largely in reflection to the amount of support shown by the group leaders, e.g. in sending out the online surveys, in allowing onsite questionnaire administration, and in showing enthusiasm and encouragement to the volunteers for the research. 81 - They work with community members in local habitat areas, as opposed to being a more regional umbrella type organization. They are based in the Metro Vancouver Area. They have a focus on doing environmental stewardship activities. - An outdoor, hands on component was important to this focus. - This is in contrast to environmental groups that focus on other activities, e.g. advocacy, education, food security, etc. Many of the partnering groups undertake these other types of activities, but did not have them as their primary mandates. They provide regular volunteering opportunities to the community. - They hold several events or functions each year, including workdays, meetings, salmon hatchery shifts, etc. They have a pool of people who volunteer regularly at their activities. They have mixed levels of volunteers, from new to more long-term; plus they are able provide opportunities to survey past volunteers and/or inactive members. For this research, it was also necessary that the coordinators of the groups were willing to cooperate with and support the research. Fortunately, the majority of the coordinators who were approached were quite enthusiastic to be involved so that they could learn more about the volunteers generally and their own volunteers more specifically. However, a small number of groups did decline participation in the research either because they felt their groups did not fit the study (e.g. having a different focus), because they did not have the resources to dedicate time to the research, or because they had already partnered in other research being done in this region. 82 Finally, the study groups’ coordinators had to have confidence that their members would also be willing to participate in this study. Without this support, the research could not be done. 3.3.2 – Characterizing the Study Groups While twelve stewardship groups agreed to participate in this research, only about half consented to have the names of their groups published in this dissertation or other materials that may result from the research. Concerns from those declining to have their groups named tended to reflect anxiety about the often precarious and somewhat competitive quest to obtain funding, in-kind support, and other resources for one’s group. These were concerns that18: it was impossible to know ahead of time exactly what the study participants would say about their groups; negative comments or ratings by the volunteers would harm a group’s chances of obtaining funding and support; - E.g. There was a concern that a group might receive high ratings for the constraint item of feeling the group is ‘too disorganized’ that might deter funders from supporting the group. comments made during the expert interviews about resource- and supportrelated issues would be used against the group in decision-making processes by agencies providing the support and resources; comments made in the survey or the interviews, even positive or ‘constructively critical’ ones might be misconstrued or taken out of context. Although numerous assurances were made that i) the research purpose and design were entirely not meant to harm the groups and ii) all data, survey and interview, 18 These points come from the coordinator interviews as well as discussions during the introductory stage of finding the partnering groups and ongoing conversations about the research. 83 would be presented only in amalgamated, anonymous forms and/or with all potential identifiers removed, several coordinators still could not be persuaded to allow their groups to be identified in the research. Therefore, a decision was reluctantly made to not name any of the study groups. This is an unfortunate decision, because it also precludes highlighting the individual achievements of each of these groups, however respect for the privacy and wishes of the all the groups took the highest priority in these considerations. Instead of naming and describing each group individually, a general discussion of the groups as a whole is given below. Table 3.1 at the end of this section summarizes these discussions. All of the groups chosen for this study met the criteria described above. The majority of these groups have regular drop-in workdays, were everyone is welcome to attend and undertake a variety of hands on outdoor activities. One exception is a group that belongs to an umbrella organization that requires volunteers to undergo a training and orientation process before being allowed to be active in the field. Four of the groups also have salmon hatcheries, where they raise salmon for release in local waterways. Hatchery volunteering also requires training and orientation for these volunteers, with an expectation that hatchery volunteers commit to a regularly scheduled shift for these activities. Other popular activities include administrative work, social activities, educational and outreach programs, learning opportunities, 84 and meetings and planning work (the next chapter gives full details on the activities done by the volunteers in this study). The majority of the groups (10 of the 12) work on public lands – mainly municipal and regional park areas. The other two groups are based and do stewardship activities on private property owned by the groups, but also do these activities on nearby public grounds, often in partnership with similar groups in the area. The study groups work in a variety of ecosystems, including forested riparian areas, in-water riverine habitats, wetlands, shorelines, meadows, and urban park spaces. Although two groups focus specifically on wetlands, and others on riparian and instream areas, most of the groups do work in more than one type of habitat. One of the groups in the study is a faith-based group. Volunteers in this group often travel greater-than-average distances in order to do environmental work in a faithbased context (this is touched on in more detail in the following chapters). Table 3.1 summarizes the characteristics of the study groups. This table was designed to help the reader to gain a better understanding of the types of groups involved in the research, while still maintaining the wishes of those groups that chose to remain anonymous. The columns on the table show the municipalities in which the study groups work. The rows list characteristics of the groups. The numbers in the resulting matrix indicate the number of groups that are both working 85 in a given municipality and also show the characteristic of that row. For example, three groups work in the City of Vancouver and also have full- or part-time staff, while none of the study groups working in Coquitlam have paid staff. Table 3.1 Characteristics of the Study Groups Characteristic/Municipality Have full- or part-time staff Membership - 100 or fewer Active Volunteers - 30 or fewer Drop-in Work Days Training Required Issue - Habitat Issue - Salmonoids Activity - Monitoring Activity - Education and Outreach Activity - Planting Activity - Invasives Activity - Salmon Enhancement Activity - Clean-ups Coquitlam Delta 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 North Port Vancouver Coquitlam 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 Surrey Vancouver 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 3 2 4 3 2 4 1 3 2 3 3 1 1 West Vancouver 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 As seen on the table, the majority of the groups have some focus on habitat enhancement, while only one third also focus on salmonoid enhancement, generally through their hatchery work. Similarly, most of the groups do some type of habitat and/or wildlife monitoring, as well as a variety of education and outreach activities. Fewer groups also take on the planting of native plants or the removal of invasive species. Group-organized clean-ups are the least commonly done by the groups in this study. 3.3.3 – Representativeness of the Partnering Organizations When trying to compare the study groups to other stewardship groups in the region, it was discovered that no comprehensive list of stewardship groups exists for this 86 area. Individual umbrella organizations and supporting government agencies generally keep records of the groups working under their auspices but these lists have not been compiled and would not include organizations, like three in this study, that act more independently, gaining their own funding and support for projects and programs. A number of attempts by agencies like Stewardship Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment have tried to create online lists of environmental groups in different regions (lists that were used to find the partnering groups), but inclusion on these lists is voluntary and left to the responsibility of the groups wishing to be added. Further, these lists are created largely to allow groups to gain exposure and attract support for their programs; the details included are not designed for research purposes. However, one study (Smailes, 2006) was found that was part of a regularly conducted study by the B.C. Ministry of Environment of environmental organizations in this province. Although some of the criteria used by this study and the current research differ, some comparisons could be made between the two sets of groups. Table 3.2 gives an overview of the main characteristics of the groups in both studies. The columns show the percentage of groups that show this characteristic in each study. 87 Table 3.2 Study Groups vs. B.C. Groups – Characteristics Comparisons Characteristic Have full- or part-time staff Membership - 100 or fewer Active Volunteers - 30 or fewer Issue - Habitat Issue - Salmonoids Activity - Monitoring Activity - Education/Outreach Activity - Planting Activity - Invasives Activity - Salmon Enhancement Activity - Clean-ups Study Groups Ministry of † Environment Groups 50% 58%* 67%* 83% 33% 83% 75% 67% 58% 33% 33% 58% 61% 71% 76% 46% 66% 79% 54%** 9% 22% 43% *estimated **No planting activities listed in B.C. study - 'Habitat restoration/rehabilitation' used instead † The Ministry numbers are summarized from Smailes (2006) As seen on the table, while some of the study groups do have paid staff, as a whole, the study groups were a little less likely to have paid staff (either full-time or parttime) than those of the B.C. study, but membership size and the number of active volunteers are generally comparable. The study groups are a little more likely to include habitat concerns among the issues dealt with by the group, and a little less likely to list salmonoids as an issue. There were also some differences between the two sets of organizations in the activities that they do with their volunteers19, the most notable being the much greater performance of invasive species management among the study groups as compared to the B.C. groups. The study groups were also more likely to be doing: monitoring, assessment and inventory activities; plantings/rehabilitations; and salmon enhancements; but less likely to be doing clean-ups, than the B.C. groups. 19 The B.C. study focussed on outdoor activities, so these are the main activities included in this comparison. 88 It is possible that the differences that were found between the two sets of environmental groups are a result of regional variations, different priorities in urban versus agricultural or more wilderness settings, and of the fact that some activities (like invasive plant removals) were becoming more common province-wide during the time that the B.C. study was done (Smailes, personal communication, May 2, 2007). Thus, despite the differences found between the two sets of groups, the groups included in the study could be deemed somewhat comparable to other stewardship organizations, and were at least comparable to one another. Indeed, the main differences occur in the activities done by the groups, and these can be explained mostly by differences in timing, region, setting, and methodology between the two studies (Smailes, personal communication, May 2, 2007). 3.4 – Coordinator Interviews Seven group coordinators agreed to be interviewed for this research. In two cases, out-going coordinators or those who had recently left the group were also interviewed as the new coordinators were not yet familiar enough with the groups to provide full information discussed in the interviews. 3.4.1 – Purpose of the Interviews The purpose of these interviews was not to provide the main body of data for the study; indeed, a study of the coordinators’ knowledge and perceptions about their 89 groups and their volunteers could be the topic of an entire dissertation on its own. Instead, the coordinator interviews were meant only to provide more knowledge about the groups, and to gain insight about the experiences of the volunteers from the point of view of those managing the programs. The interviews were also meant to obtain practical information from the coordinators about the characteristics of the groups and the projects and programs they do, other sources of support for the groups’ work, and concerns and ideas the coordinators have about the stewardship volunteering process. All of the coordinator interviews were taped, except for one where the individual declined this option. Copious notes were also taken during the interviews. Because these discussions were meant only to provide supplemental data, rather than to act as the primary source of information, transcriptions were not done of the interviews. Instead, the recordings and notes were reviewed to ensure the accuracy of the notes, and the latter was used to draw general themes from the interview data to support the interpretation of the results and the formation of the discussions, conclusions, and recommendations. The information obtained from the interviews also supported the formation of conclusions and recommendations that were not a direct result of the survey data. In particular, this information was used as a basis for the recommendations made to ‘beyond-group’ supporters (beginning on page 243) and to the volunteers (beginning on page 254). Because the interviewees were promised confidentially and anonymity as part of the ‘informed consent’ process, all of the comments and information from the interviews are presented in 90 the dissertation such that the individuals providing the information cannot be identified. 3.4.2 – Structure of the Interviews The interviews were semi-structured and designed to capture data in four areas: volunteering recruitment and management, - the volunteer perspective, - for example, thoughts on why people become involved or are deterred from being active in the group; the relationship of the volunteers and the group, - including topics like tasks and activities, communications and training; for example, exploring the benefits and constraints of working with volunteers; group capacity, - including topics like the presence or absence of paid staff, and available funding and inkind support. The complete interview schedule can be found in Appendix D on pages 298-300. 3.5 – Participant Surveys 3.5.1 – Purpose of the Surveys The purpose of the participant surveys was to gather first hand information from stewardship volunteers (and non-active group members) on a variety of topics 91 related to the research questions20. These surveys were also designed to provide information that is useful in making recommendations to those who support stewardship volunteering, whether group coordinators, beyond-group supporters (like governmental agencies or umbrella groups), or the volunteers themselves. 3.5.2 – Survey Structure The survey took the form of a self-administered questionnaire. It was designed using a combination of open-ended and Likert-type rating questions. Space was also left at the end of the survey for participants to write down any comments that they would like to make. The follow section deals with the survey questions and how they relate to answering the research questions for this study, and the full questionnaire may be found in Appendix E on pages 301-310. Questions from the survey were developed through a variety of means: information from the literature review; - Because this study is largely exploratory, findings from both the general volunteering literature and that specific to environmental participation were used. Using both sets of literature was also done to allow for comparisons and contrasts between the study results and those from the volunteer sector (environmental and nonenvironmental). the experience and judgement of the primary researcher, Veronica Wahl; the experience and judgement of the research committee members; 20 Recall that the research questions are outlined in Chapter 1 on pages 22-27. Operationalization of the variables for these questions is detailed below (pages 93-103). 92 discussions with stewardship group coordinators and those in positions that relate to and support stewardship groups (e.g. related governmental personnel). Once constructed, the survey instrument was forwarded to a group of stewardship volunteers in Ontario, with which Veronica had done her master’s work. This group was chosen because the participants were knowledgeable enough about the subject matter to provide meaningful feedback, but far enough away to not ‘contaminate’ the survey results through communications with those who eventually did become part of the study. Feedback from the Ontario pre-testers was also used to modify and edit the survey instrument. 3.6 – Responding to the Research Questions – Operationalization of Variables The survey instrument was designed to gather a variety of data from the stewards about their volunteering with their home groups. Questions in the survey were also meant to provide information that would answer the research questions for this study. This section reviews each of the research questions and how the survey variables were operationalized to respond to these questions. Table 3.3 at the end of this section summarizes the operationalization of the survey variables as they relate to the research questions. 3.6.1 – RQ 1: Characterizing ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteers This research question is answered through a variety of questions at the end of the survey related to the demographic variables of the volunteers. These variables are 93 encompassed by survey questions (SQ) 21 through 32 of the survey instrument and relate to the volunteers’: age, gender, residency, ethnicity, family status, occupational status, level of education, income. This research question also deals with the survey questions related to people’s tenure (SQ2) with their groups and involvement with other environmental and nonenvironmental community service organizations (SQ 19 and 20). These latter variables relate to findings from the literature review that suggests people involved in volunteering are often ‘joiners’ who participate in numerous community service initiatives (e.g. Baum, et al. 1999; Hall et al., 2001;Reed and Selbee, 2000). Demographic variables were not only important in answering this research question, they were also identified from the literature as potentially acting as intervening variables on the level of environmental care people might show and/or the amount of time they might give to volunteering efforts. As discussed in the next chapter, these variables are also used in the analyses of several of the following research 94 questions in order to determine what, if any, influence demographics have on the results. 3.6.2 – RQ 2: Involvement in The Groups’ Activities This research question is addressed on the survey through a question (SQ 6) that asked respondents to list the activities that they do with their groups, as well as the frequency at which they do each activity. For each activity, respondents were also asked to check a rating from 1.00 (‘not at all’) to 5.00 (‘very much’) to indicate how much they enjoyed doing the work that they listed. The activities listed were then coded into categories, with frequency and enjoyment ratings calculated for each category. Details of these operations are given in the section dealing with this research question in the next chapter. 3.6.3 – RQ 3: Additional Activities Two open-ended questions were included on the on the survey to respond to this concern. The first (SQ 7) asked volunteers to list ‘what other types of activities (if any) they would like to do with their groups’. The second (SQ 11) asked respondents to list which activities they would like to do more often if there were no constraints on their participation. As detailed more fully in the next chapter, responses to this question were coded into loose categories based on the data collected. 95 3.6.4 – RQ 4: Levels of Commitment Based on work by Ryan et al. (2001), commitment was measured through three concepts: the priority ratings that the respondents gave to their volunteering, their levels of participation with their groups, and whether or not participation was dependent on the type of activity being done. Recall that level of participation is accounted for in the above research question. Whether the rates of participation were dependent on a type of activity is dealt with below. Survey question 5 examined priority through asking respondents to rate ‘how high a priority they gave to volunteering’ on a scale of 1 (‘very low) to 5 (‘very high’). Finally, whether participation was dependent on activity type was tested statistically through correlational analyses between frequency of participation in and enjoyment ratings for each activity category. These tests were done to see whether volunteers participate most frequently only in those activities that they most enjoy. 3.6.5 – RQ 5: Factors Encouraging and Enhancing Participation Operationalization of the variables for this research question was done in three parts matching the three concepts included in this question: motivations, greatest satisfactions or rewards, and thank you gestures and awards. 96 Volunteer Motivations Potential motivations for stewardship volunteering were culled from the literature on participation in non-environmental volunteering and in the environmental movement, with additional ideas from research on motivations for environmentally responsible behaviours (as summarized in Chapter 2). A list of 18 items based on the literature review was included on the questionnaire (SQ 9). Respondents were instructed to rate each motivational item from a scale of 1 (‘not a motivation’) to 4 (‘strong motivation’) based on how much each motivation matched their own feelings about their reasons for volunteering. The 18 motivational items were as follows: Altruism and Values I would like to help the natural environment I would like to improve the environment for future generations I would like to help solve a problem I learned about in my community I would like to contribute to my community Helping the environment is worthwhile (overlaps with accomplishment below) Social Dimensions of Volunteering My family/friend(s) asked me to join them in the group’s activities (overlaps with ‘obligation’ below) I was taught as a child to support community volunteering I played in natural areas as a child (overlaps with personal welfare below) Participation lets me meet new people I enjoy being part of a volunteer team 97 Learning and Skills Participation lets me learn new things Feeling a Sense of Accomplishment I feel as sense of accomplishment working in the environment Helping the environment is worthwhile (overlaps with values and altruism above) I find this work to be rewarding Personal Welfare For me, participation is a form of recreation Participation is a form of relaxation/stress release I played in natural areas as a child (overlaps with social dimensions above) Career Development I am improving my job skills 'Obligation’ and Mandatory Volunteering I am fulfilling a volunteer service requirement (e.g. school credit) My religious/spiritual beliefs encourage helping the environment My family/friend(s) asked me to join them in the group’s activities (overlaps with social dimensions above) Analyses were then done to determine which (if any) motivations correlate to the participation variables of group tenure, participation frequency, and activity enjoyment. Correlations between motivational ratings and the commitment variable of priority were also analyzed. 98 Finally, because this research is largely exploratory, there was a concern that the listed motivations on the survey instrument might not capture all of the reasons people might have to actively volunteer with their groups. Therefore, space was left for people to report motivations that they felt applied to them, but which were not included on the Likert-type lists. People were then also able to rate these written-in motivations in the same was as those already included on the study. Greatest Satisfactions or Rewards This variable was operationalized through an open-ended survey question (SQ 8) asking respondents to report the ‘greatest satisfaction or reward’ that they take from volunteering with their group. Responses to this question were coded into themes, as discussed in the next chapter. Thank You Gestures and Awards A common theme during the coordinator interviews was uncertainty over how the volunteers might like to be thanked for their efforts – in fact, this was an issue raised by every coordinator interviewed. This was also a concern highlighted during the process of developing the survey instrument. In response to this problem, an openended question (SQ 12) was included in the survey that asked people to list suggestions for ‘form(s) of appreciation or reward’ that they would like to receive from their groups as thank you gestures for their efforts. ‘Thank you’ themes were created for the responses to this question – these are detailed further in the next chapter. 99 3.6.6 – RQ 6: Factors Detracting from or Deterring Participation In a similar way for the motivations above, the literature was reviewed for variables that might deter participation, reduce participants’ enjoyment of their experiences, or contribute to burnout. Eleven constraint items were listed on the questionnaire (SQ 10) asking respondents to rate each item from 1 (‘not a constraint’) to 4 (‘strong constraint’) to reflect how well the item matched their volunteer situation. The 11 constraint items were as follows: Individual Barriers I am so busy, I don’t have time to participate My health/physical abilities prevent participation in some activities I don’t feel my participation makes any difference I feel I have already given enough to my community It is too difficult to get to the site(s) Treatment as a Volunteer I don’t feel my work is appreciated by the larger community I don’t feel my work is appreciated by the group I am not properly informed of opportunities to participate No one has asked me to participate (relates also to social motivations) Group Structure and Resources The group seems too disorganized I don’t feel the group has the resources to accomplish its goals 100 Analyses were also done to examine potential correlations between the constraints and the participation and commitment variables outlined for motivations above. In order to help ensure that vital constraints were not missed in the construction of the survey instruments, space was left at the bottom of this question for respondents to report additional constraints they had beyond those already listed, and to rate the strength of each ‘additional’ constraint they listed. 3.6.7 – RQ 7: Environmental Citizenship and Stewardship As discussed in the Research Questions section in the previous chapter, this research question is addressed through three follow-up questions. The operationalization of the variables involved in the follow-up questions is detailed below. For each area of environmental citizenship, correlational analyses were performed between the measures of the citizenship variable and the frequency and enjoyment of hands on activities. Although cause and effect relationships cannot be shown through this method, correlations between participation in hands on activities and the measures of environmental citizenship would indicate a relationship that could be examined in future research. 101 RQ 7.1: Emotional Responses to the Worksites In one set of survey questions respondents were asked to rate their sense of ownership, attachment, and responsibility for their worksites (SQ 13 - 15). Ratings were on a scale from 1(‘very low’) to 5 (‘very high’). RQ 7.2: Developing a ‘Constituency for Nature’ Borrowing again from work by Ryan et al. (2001), one survey question (SQ 16) asked respondents to ‘Imagine a proposal was made for a construction project that would have negative impacts on the area where you volunteer’. Ten potential reactions to this negative change were then listed with instructions for the survey participants to rate each item from 1 (‘strongly disagree’) to 4 (‘strongly agree’) depending on how they feel they personally would respond. RQ 7.3: Generating Other Environmental Action To answer this research question, 19 environmentally friendly behaviours were drawn from the literature (e.g. Blake and Guppy, 1996-97; Blake et al., 1997; Dietz et al., 1998; Kaiser et al., 1999; Karp 1996, 118), including those in various categories – e.g. waste reduction, advocacy and outreach, energy use, etc. The survey respondents were asked to rate each behaviour from 1 (‘never) to 5 (‘always’) based on how frequently they did each behaviour (SQ 17). A second survey question asked respondents to rate their own environmentalism as compared to that of the ‘general population’ (SQ 18). 102 Table 3.3 Operationalization of Survey Variables to Respond to Research Questions SQ # Survey Question Type 21-32 2 19-20 Open-ended and mulitple choice Open-ended Open-ended and Likert-type rating 6 Open-ended and Likert-type rating Information Obtained Research Question 1 - Volunteer Characteristics Demographic variables Group tenure Partcipation in other community service activities Research Question 2 - Involvement in Activities Self-reported type, frequency and enjoyment of activities done Research Question 3 - Additional Activities 7 & 11 Open-ended Listing of activities people would also like to do with their groups Research Question 4 - Level of Commitment 6 5 9 9b 8 12 10 10b 13-15 16 17 18 Open-ended and Likert-type rating From analyses Likert-type Likert-type Open-ended Analyses Open-ended Open-ended Likert-type Open-ended Analyses Likert-type Likert-type Likert-type Likert-type Analyses Self-reported level of involvment Enjoyment vs. frequency correlations Self-reported priority rating Research Question 5 - Encouraging and Enhancing Value respondents place on each motivational item Reporting of other motivations Correlation between motivations and: particpation, commitment, and tenure Greatest satisfactions - things most-valued by the respondents Suggestions on appropriate gestures of appreciation Research Question 6 - Detracting and Deterring Value respondents place on each Constraint item Reporting of othe constraints Correlation between constraints and: particpation, commitment, and tenure Research Question 7 - Enviromental Citizenship Value respondents place on attachment, ownership and responsibility to worksites Value respondents place on potential reactions to negative changes to worksites Frequency at which respondents do other environmental behaviours Self-reported ratings comparing respondents' environmentalism to greater community Correlation between hands on participation and environmental citizenship measures 103 3.7 – Survey Administration 3.7.1 – Administration Overview The participant surveys have the form of self-administered questionnaires. Potential respondents were invited to participate in the research in two ways: through emails containing a link to the survey sent to the membership lists, and by the researchers and group leaders onsite at events and meetings hosted by the groups. People were asked to complete only one copy of the survey, even if they were invited more than once to participate in the research21. The coordinators of the groups assisted in the administration of the survey in several ways: They gave permission and provided opportunities for onsite administration. They forwarded the email invitation and survey link to their membership lists. - This method was taken to protect the privacy of those on the lists as only the coordinators had access to the contact information that the groups had stored for their members. They contacted individuals without email access and provided surveys to those interested in responding. They indicated support for the research and encouraged their members to respond. In all cases, the anonymity of the respondents was protected. Those completing online questionnaires submitted the survey through the website, without needing to 21 Initially, it was thought that the surveys might also be administered by mail, but a number of practical considerations (e.g. costs and lack of addresses for many group members) prevented this method. Additionally, many of the coordinators were reluctant to using mailing as it would increase the amount of paper consumed for the study. 104 identify themselves through email addresses or other identifiers. Those who completed the surveys onsite were able to drop their completed questionnaires into a box with the others that had been completed at that event. Surveys were coded by group and respondent number after they were received with no way to know who had completed which questionnaire. 3.7.2 – Dealing with Concerns Specific to Online Survey Research Conducting survey research online has the benefits of being comparatively inexpensive and having more efficient data management and analyses than administration methods like onsite distribution (Evans and Mathur, 2005; Granello and Wheaton, 2004; Yun and Trumbo, 2000). Additionally, online administration methods greatly reduced the amount of paper used for the research, an important consideration when working with environmentalists. However, concerns were also raised in the literature that needed to be dealt with in the study at hand. Many of the concerns raised in the literature centre on the technology required to participate in the research. Issues around the representativeness of the sample – i.e. not everyone owns a computer – the computer literacy of the respondents, and the compatibility of the hardware and software between researchers and respondents are all seen as limitations to this type of research (Evans and Mathur, 2005; Granello and Wheaton, 2004; Shannon et al., 2002; Yun and Trumbo, 2000). However, for this study email contact and online surveying were chosen largely because the groups were already using emails and online publications (e.g. 105 newsletters) as their primary form of communication with their memberships. Additionally, the online survey host was chosen because it was known for its ease of use22 and could be accessed from any type of computer that is able to access the Internet (SurveyMonkey.com, 1999-2009). Therefore, any of the groups’ members who were already in communication with their groups via email should have had no trouble accessing the online survey through the link provided on the email invitation to the research. Additionally, the onsite surveying helped to reach those who did not receive the online invitation. Finally, as mentioned above, coordinators also provided hard copies to those who were not at the onsite administration events and also did not have emails. A larger concern with using online administrative methods is that electronic surveys are noted for having lower response rates than those that are mailed23 (Evans and Mathur, 2005 202; Granello and Wheaton, 2004, 389; Yun and Trumbo, 2000). However, because online data collection could be done relatively easily, with no extra cost for additional participants, the concern about lower response rates was counteracted through increasing the sample size for this administration method (see below). 22 It is difficult to cite this point, as a number of people in the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC recommended SurveyMonkey.com as a good host because they had successfully used it in their own research. 23 Research was not found comparing in-person administration with electronic methods, but the response rates in this study suggest that electronic rates are lower than onsite rates as well (see the section on responses rates in the next chapters for more details). 106 3.8 – Survey Sampling 3.8.1 – Onsite Sampling Sampling for this type of administration was a non-random, ‘available subjects’ sampling. The major limitation of this type of sampling is that “this method does not permit any control over the representativeness of a sample,” which, in turn, limits the generalizability of the results (Babbie, 2004, 183). The method was chosen however for its main benefit, which is to ensure that opinions are obtained from people who are definitely active in a group’s activities. This method was also chosen to help ensure that sufficient numbers of data were received for analyses. 3.8.2 – Online Sampling The online membership lists for the partnering groups made up the sampling frame for this part of the research24. Every person on these lists was invited to participate through an email from their groups’ coordinators, accompanied by an invitation from the researcher and a link to the online site housing the survey. Using the entire list for the participating groups rather than using a systematic selecting every ‘nth’ person was done for several reasons: The coordinators had limited time and were often hesitant, or unable, to put in the extra time that would have been required to count and sort members from their list to survey. - Most groups have a single list that they use to send out email – to separate individuals from this list would require some effort. 24 For various reasons, three of the groups did not participate in the online survey administration, but these three groups did provide opportunities for onsite administration of the survey to their volunteers. 107 - Recall that to protect the privacy of the respondents, the researcher did not have access to the email lists so could not perform any systematic sampling procedures themselves. Concerns about potentially low response rates prompted the wish to invite as large a sample of people as possible to participate online. It did not take any additional resources to have additional persons added to the study. 3.9 – Brief Recap and Look Ahead This chapter outlined the methodology used for the research. Primarily, data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire of the volunteers of the partnering groups. These surveys were designed to respond to the research questions. Volunteers were invited to participate through their membership with one of the stewardship groups that partnered in this study. Both online and onsite administration methods were used to assure a large sample size, sufficient data collected, and representation for people at various levels of participation with their groups. Coordinator interviews made up a smaller part of this research and were meant to supplement the data collected on the questionnaires. The next chapter contains the results and analyses from the questionnaires. Data is presented by research question so that the reader may easily see how the results apply to the questions asked in this study. Comments are made from the coordinator interviews to augment the survey findings. 108 4 – ANALYSES AND RESULTS 4.1 –Chapter 4 Outline This chapter begins with a discussion of the response rates from the survey (Section 4.2), followed by an overview of the statistical tests and analyses done throughout the results (Section 4.3). The research questions are dealt with in the next section, Section 4.4. First, Section 4.4.1 presents a review of variables that might characterize a ‘typical’ stewardship volunteer. Next, Section 4.4.2 outlines the activities that are done by these volunteers are discussed. This outline is followed by an overview of additional activities that the volunteers say they might like to do with their groups in Section 4.4.3. Section 4.4.4 then examines the level of commitment that the respondents show for their volunteer work. Section 4.4.5 is divided into a number of subsections, each of which examines a different variable that enhances and encourages stewardship volunteering. These variables are: volunteer motivations, the ‘greatest satisfaction or reward the volunteers take from their work,’ and thank you gestures and gifts that the volunteers say they would like to receive. The constraints that prevent or deter stewardship volunteering are investigated in the section after that, Section 4.4.6. 109 Section 4.4.7 comprises the last set of results. The results and analyses in this section deal with a minor part of the research, the idea that hands on stewardship volunteering might lead to better environmental citizenship among the volunteers. This concept is explored through three measures of environmental citizenship that are often discussed in the literature: the emotional responses people have for their worksites, reactions they might take in response to negative changes to these sites, and other environmentally friendly actions these participants take beyond volunteering with their groups. The chapter concludes with Section 4.5, which gives a brief summary of the findings from chapter 4, as well as a look ahead to Chapter 5, the final chapter of this dissertation. 4.2 – Response Rates In total, 127 surveys were collected. However, a few factors made it difficult to calculate an exact response rate. These factors include: missing data from some of the surveys, the ‘drop-in’ nature of the workdays, where most of the onsite survey administration opportunities took place, and the accuracy of the groups’ email lists for the online survey administration. Despite these concerns, fairly accurate estimates could still be made for the response rates in this study. Generally, about 117 people were asked to participate in the study while they attended the groups’ workdays or meetings. Seventy 110 questionnaires were received from this administration method, meaning an approximate response rate of 60% for onsite administration. It is estimated that 275 additional people were invited to participate online. Fifty-seven surveys were received from online participants, meaning an online response rate of about 21%. These numbers give an overall total of about 392 people being asked to participate, with a total of 127 surveys being received for an overall response rate of about 32%. 4.3 – Statistical Tests and Analyses A number of statistical analyses were done on the data that resulted from the surveys completed by the volunteers. Only the most significant results are reported here. Comments and discussions on the findings from this study are mainly reserved for the next chapter. When means were calculated all of the data received were used except in one or two cases where outliers had a great impact on the final averages. These exceptions are noted in the text as they occur. Standard deviations and number of respondents are reported with the means so that the reader may have a sense of the variability and generalizability of the means. While in most cases sufficient data were available for analyses, at times only a small number of responses were received or applied to a given situation. These situations are discussed more fully in the next chapter under the section dealing with the limitations of the study. 111 Several semi-structured and open-ended questions were included because the research is largely exploratory. These questions allowed respondents to list variables that were important to them helping to ensure that these data were captured even if the points were not specifically listed on the questionnaire. The coding for these questions is detailed more fully below in the sections reviewing the responses to these less structured questions. In most cases, sufficient data were available for analyses. However, at times only a small number of responses were received for or applied to a given situation. Although these situations limit the generalizability of some of the results, for the most part the analyses allowed for conclusions to be drawn and recommendations to be made on the results. For some questions, the limited data lent themselves only to descriptive, qualitative analyses. Concerns with the data are discussed more fully in the next chapter under the section dealing with the limitations of the study. Factor analyses were done on two of the Likert-type questions on the survey to deal with the large amount of data received. These questions were the ones dealing with the ratings people gave to the motivational items and those given to the constraint items. The eigenvalues and scree plots were used to determine the final number of factors to be extracted. Extractions were done with principal components analyses followed by varimax rotations. 112 Correlational analyses were also conducted to examine potential relationships between a number of different survey variables. In the case of ordinal data, like enjoyment ratings, and the Likert-type scoring for the motivational and constraint items, Spearman’s rho tests were used. Relationships that were significant at the p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 levels are reported. Finally, data for a number of demographic variables were collected for the respondents. Step-wise multiple regression analyses were done to determine the effect, if any, of these demographics on the respondents’ participation with their groups’ activities, with the demographic variables acting as the regressors, and the ‘test variable’, e.g. frequency of participation, acting as the independent variable. The demographic variables used were: age, gender, home occupancy status (rent, own, or other), whether or not a respondent volunteers in his home municipality, the length of time the respondent has lived in his home municipality25, ethnicity, marital status, the number of children she has (if she has them), and number of children living at home (if applicable), educational level, employment status, personal and household income. Where applicable, further analyses were done using one-way ANOVA with follow-up Tukey tests to determine the specific areas of significance. 25 In order to avoid the awkwardness of using ‘he/she’, ‘him/her’, ‘his/her’ constructions as well as the grammatically questionable ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘their’, pronouns of alternating gender are used for this dissertation. Of course, in every case people of both genders are meant to be included. The only exceptions are cases where specific respondents are discussed; here the gender of the pronouns match those indicated on the survey for those individuals. 113 4.4 – Responding to the Research Questions The results in this section are presented by research question (RQ). The next chapter provides an interpretation of these results. 4.4.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer? The results from the demographics questions, group tenure, and involvement in other community service organizations are discussed here. Age The average age of the participants was about 49 years (SD = 18.19 years, N = 107), but the responses to this question encompassed the full range from ‘13-20’ to ‘over 80’. Figure 4.1 illustrates the variety of age groups who volunteer with the study groups. Although a small peak is seen for the ‘newly retired’ age group, it is apparent that people of all ages enjoy stewardship volunteering. A caveat must be added that due to ethical considerations, those under 13 years of age were not able to participate in the study. Anecdotally, more younger people seemed in attendance at events than is reflected by these results. Interestingly, the youngest ‘volunteer’ observed during the data collection period was brought to his first workday at about 6 weeks of age. The eldest celebrated his 83rd birthday during this time. 114 Figure 4.1 Respondent Ages 20 18 16 Number in Category 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 13-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-65 66-70 71-75 76-80 over 80 Age Ranges (in years) Gender In this study 53% of the respondents were female and 47% were male (N = 105). In only one group was there only one gender, where all of the respondents were male. Ethnicity Respondents were asked to indicate their background ethnicity, even if they identify themselves as Canadian. Of those who responded to this question (N = 99), 79% identified themselves as having European background, where German, Eastern European, and British predominated. Fifteen percent of the respondents said their families had come to Canada from Asia, and all but one of these (Japanese) listed Chinese as their ethic background. Another 5% were classified as having other backgrounds, which ranged from Native Canadian to mixed heritage. The ‘other’ 115 category for ethnicity included ethnicities that had responses from two or fewer individuals. Family Status 46.2% of the people who responded to the question on marital status (N = 104) indicated that they were married. This was followed by 37.5% for those who were single. 7.7% of the respondents were divorced, 3.8% living common law, and another 3.8% were widowed. A final 1.0% of respondents were separated from their spouses. Overall, this makes for about 50% of the respondents living with their mates (married or common law). The other half of respondents was not living with a partner (being single, widowed, separated, or divorced). Half (50.5%) the respondents (N = 107) had children. The number of children respondents had ranged from zero to seven, with an average of about two children each among those who have them (SD = 1.00, N = 54). However, among those who have children about 60% reported that their offspring are no longer living at home. This was followed by 23.5% of respondents who had one child at home and 15.7% of respondents with two children at home. No respondents reported more than two children still living at home. Residency 64.8% of the respondents to this question (N = 105) indicated that they owned their own homes. 28.6% percent were renters. The final 6.7% checked the ‘other’ 116 category on this question. Among those with ‘other’ housing, respondents indicated a variety of living situations including co-op housing and living with friends or relatives. The respondents in this survey had lived in their municipalities for an average of 20.68 years (SD = 17.43 years, N = 106). The municipal tenures range from 68 years to less than one year. The majority (about 70%) of the respondents (N = 108) volunteer within the same municipality in which they live. One of the groups in this study however was somewhat atypical, as the volunteers in this group tend to ‘commute’ to their worksites in order to do their volunteering. This is a faith-based group where participants often travel from surrounding municipalities by buses or private vehicles. Responses from the surveys and informal discussions with participants indicate that while a number of the participants have opportunities for this type of volunteering closer to home, many choose to travel to this site because it offers an opportunity not just to help the environment, but also to work ‘in a faith-based context’. Indeed, groups from congregations or related youth groups in the Lower Mainland usually arrange the buses that come to these workdays. If this ‘commuter’ group were not included, about 80% of the respondents (N = 91) stay within their home municipalities to do their volunteer work. 117 The overall average distance travelled by the respondents to their worksites was 11.42 km (SD = 16.20 km, N = 113). Four of the groups involved in the study had responses that averaged less than 5 km, while the ‘commuter’ group averaged over 30 km, which impacted the overall mean. In fact, if this latter group is not included in the calculations, the average volunteer in this study travels about 7.33 km (SD 8.53 km, N = 92) to participate in the work of her group. Occupational Status Among the people who responded to this question (N = 99), 39.4% were retired, followed by those who are employed full-time, at 29.3%. Other occupational statuses came in with lower percentages as follows: 9.1% students, 8.1% employed part-time, 8.1% self-employed, 3.0% homemakers, and another 3.0% unemployed. Educational Status While there is a great deal of variability for many of the demographic variables of the respondents in this survey, one common denominator seems to be that this is a fairly well-educated group. Of those who responded to the question on education (N = 108), the vast majority (about 89%) had completed high school and undertaken at least some postsecondary education. In fact, 14.8% have completed a college or technical certificate, 27.8% a bachelor’s degree, 11.1% with some post-graduate training, and 23.1% with a post-graduate degree. Of those who have not done any postsecondary education, 7.4% have completed high school, while 3.7% have some high school education. None of the respondents lacked some high school training. 118 Of those with only some high school training, three of the four fall into the youngest age category for this survey and so could be expected to be too young for a higher level of education. Income The average personal income for those who answered this question (N = 89) was about $41 000/year (SD = $30 000/year). As Figure 4.2 shows, the responses covered the entire possible range from ‘no income’ to ‘over $100 000 /year ’. Figure 4.2 Personal Incomes 12 10 Number in Category 8 6 4 2 0 none Under $10,000 $10,000$19,999 $20,000$29,999 $30,000$39,999 $40,000$49,999 $50,000$59,999 $60,000$69,999 $70,000$79,999 $80,000$89,999 $90,000$99,999 $100,000 and above Incomes Like personal income, the household income responses for the study ranged from ‘no income’ to ‘over $100 000/year’. The average household income reported in this study was about $63 000/year (SD = $31 000/year, N = 86). The distribution for household incomes is shown in Figure 4.3. 119 Figure 4.3 Household Incomes 16 14 Number in Category 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 none Under $10,000 $10,000$19,999 $20,000$29,999 $30,000$39,999 $40,000$49,999 $50,000$59,999 $60,000$69,999 $70,000$79,999 $80,000$89,999 $90,000$99,999 $100,000 and above Incomes Comparing the Study Demographics with Those of the Region This study is situated in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. It is useful to compare the volunteers in this study with those of the region. Table 4.1 shows a comparison of the above demographic variables between the study participants and numbers obtained from the Statistics Canada report on this region using the most recent available data (taken in 2006) (see Statistics Canada, 2010). Unfortunately, direct comparisons could not be made of all demographic variables used in the study. For example, Statistics Canada lists ‘number of persons per family’ in a household, but does not distinguish whether any of these individuals are children (as opposed to elderly parents, etc.), nor does Statistics Canada report the number of children individuals may have, whether living at home or not. The table then, shows data 120 only for those study demographics that are also found in the Statistics Canada report. Table 4.1 Comparison of Study and Regional Demographics Study Statistics Respondents Canada Demographic Variable Age (median, in years) 53 39.1 Female (percent of population) 53 51 Ethnicity (percent of population) European 79 58 Chinese 14 18 Other 7 20 Living with a Partner (percentage of population) 50 50 Residency (percentage of population) Own Home 65 65 Rent Home 29 35 Other Home Status 7 not available Occupation (percentage of population) Percent Employed 45.5 63 Percent Unemployed 3 6 Education (percentage of population) No degree, diploma, or certicate 4 17 Completed High School 7 27 College or Technical 15 25 Some University Training 12 6 University Degree 62 25 Personal Income (median in dollars/year) 45000 28000 As seen on the table, many of the demographics are similar between the study participants and those of the population of Metro Vancouver more generally. The notable exceptions are: the somewhat higher median age of the study participants (Statistics Canada does not give mean values); an over-representation of those of European heritage in the study a somewhat lower percentage of employed study participants - some caution should be used here however, as the Statistics Canada numbers do not make it possible to examine variables like percentage of individuals currently retired or attending school the somewhat higher level of education found among the study participants 121 the somewhat higher personal income among the study participants - this is likely to be related to the higher levels of education obtained by those in the study. Group Tenure In one survey question, participants were asked how long that they had been volunteering with their groups. The average respondent for this study has been participating in his group’s activities for 3.72 years (SD = 4.75 years, N = 125). The responses for this question ranged from brand new (first or second time) volunteers to one volunteer who had been with his group for 31 years. Participation in Other Environmental Organizations For this question and the one to follow, the respondents were asked to list their other environmental (SQ19) and non-environmental community service (SQ20) group memberships, giving each a rating of 1 ‘not active’ to 5 ‘very active’ to indicate how much they participated with these other groups. Each volunteer was then given two mean ‘other group’ participation ratings based on an average of her reported activity scores in each type of organization. Unfortunately, not everyone who listed other organizations gave activity ratings, so the numbers of respondents for the activity analyses do not match the number of respondents indicating that they had membership with other groups. Of the 104 people who responded to the survey question about their participation in other environmental volunteering 64 people (about 59%) said that they did belong to 122 at least one other environmental organization. These respondents reported an average of nearly three other environmental organization memberships (M = 2.61, SD = 2.26), with a mean activity level of 2.72 of 5.00 (SD = 1.17, N = 51) for this other environmental volunteering. Participation in Other Community service Organizations Ninety-five individuals indicated that they belonged to other (non-environmental) community service organizations. About half of these respondents (52%, N = 49) said that they participated in the work of other community service groups. These individuals reported an average of almost two other community service memberships (M = 1.88, SD = 1.23), with an average activity level of 3.38 of 5.00 (SD = 1.13, N = 47). 4.4.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities? Results for this research question are presented in two parts below. The first gives an overview of the activities volunteers are currently doing with their groups. The second analyses how the demographic variables described above might relate to the activities done by the volunteers. 123 Volunteers’ Current Activities with Their Groups This section reviews the responses to the open-ended survey question on the respondents’ stewardship activities, including the frequency and enjoyment of these activities. 110 people responded to this question. The responses given to this survey question were coded into categories matching the type of tasks listed. Although the coding was initiated with some idea of what the final categories might be, the final details of the groupings were determined by the responses given. In all, the respondents listed about 30 different types of activities that fell into four categories26: ‘Hands On’, ‘Administrative’, ‘Outreach’, and ‘Other’ activities. These activity categories are described below. The category names are capitalized throughout the dissertation in order to distinguish specific references to these activity categories from more general discussions of the things stewardship volunteers do. After sorting the activities listed by each individual into the different activity categories, a frequency of participation was calculated for each respondent for each activity category. This frequency of participation was obtained through finding the sum of the frequency of participation for each listing within a category. For example, within the Hands On category, one individual noted that she participated in invasive species pulls 12 times/year, plantings 3 times/year, and weeding in the 26 A fifth category ‘External Activities’ was also created, but is not used in any of the analyses so is not discussed here. The External Activities category contains all listings that people gave of volunteer work that they do with organizations that are not part of the study, e.g. helping with a church bazaar. 124 demonstration garden 4 times/year. This leads to a total Hands On frequency of participation of 19 times/year (12 times/year + 3 times/year + 4 times/year). Some adjustments were made during this process. For example, ‘daily’ was counted at 350 days, which is fewer than the 365 days in each year, but accounted for holidays and vacations taken by both the groups and the volunteers. In other cases, knowledge of the groups’ schedules and common sense showed that sometimes a list of activities given were all done on the same set of workdays. For example, in some cases the frequencies added up to more than 365 days/year; however on closer examination of the responses, it was discovered that some respondents were very detailed in their responses, breaking down larger assignment, like ‘hatchery volunteering’ into the individual tasks like feeding the fry, taking water temperature measurements, and cleaning the pond. While all of these are in fact separate activities, they were coded into one, larger ‘hatchery work’ variable for the frequency calculation as they are all undertaken during the same volunteer shift. The overall mean frequency of participation for a category was calculated by taking a mean frequency for all of the respondents reporting frequencies of activities within the category. Mean enjoyment ratings were then calculated for each respondent for each activity category. For example, the individual above gave an enjoyment rating of 4.00 to invasive species removals, 5.00 to the plantings, and 4.00 to weeding the demonstration garden. These numbers give her an overall Hands On enjoyment 125 rating of 4.33 [(4.00 + 5.00 + 4.00)/3]. The overall mean enjoyment rating for a category was calculated by taking a mean enjoyment rating for all of the respondents reporting enjoyment ratings within the category. Getting Dirty –The Hands On Activities The Hands On category encompasses those types of activities that bring people together outdoors and into direct contact with the natural environment. As the activities that make up the essence of stewardship, the Hands On category of activities was by far the most common type of work done by the volunteers in this study. About 94% (N = 103) of the people who responded to this question listed at least one Hands On activity, giving a total of 186 separate listings in this category (an average of about 1.81 activities for each Hands On volunteer). Table 4.2 shows the different activities that fall into the Hands On Category. Also on the table are the number of people who reported that they perform each task, the mean frequency of participation among those doing each task, and the mean enjoyment ratings given to each listing. 126 Table 4.2 Participation in Hands On Activities Hands On Activity Clean-ups Gardening Invasives Monitoring Planting Salmon Site Preparation Trails Workdays Overall Hands On Participation Number Reporting Activity 8 25 57 13 36 17 11 6 18 Mean Frequency (times/year) 15.00 12.30 18.29 37.00 7.06 89.00 12.85 4.20 17.00 Std. Deviation Frequency 21.07 16.63 37.12 59.79 12.68 100.86 17.52 4.66 21.00 191 30.87 53.42 Frequency N Mean Enjoyment 5 23 51 11 31 13 10 5 14 4.13 4.02 4.68 4.77 4.33 4.62 3.69 4.33 4.50 Std. Deviation Enjoyment 0.64 1.05 2.72 0.39 0.79 0.55 0.82 0.82 0.62 87 4.51 2.07 Enjoyment N 8 25 56 13 36 17 11 6 18 102 As seen on the table, nine different activities were listed in the Hands On category. The most popular of these is the removal of invasive plants, reported by 57 individuals. However, salmon enhancement work (helping at the hatcheries, participating in salmon captures and releases, etc.) at 89 times/year (SD = 100.86, N = 13) is, on average, the most frequently done of the Hands On tasks, while monitoring and assessment work (e.g. bird counts) received the highest mean enjoyment ratings (M = 4.77, SD = 0.39, N = 13). Other activities reported in this category are: clean-ups – removing litter and dumped items from the work areas; gardening – including weeding, watering, planting, and harvesting27; planting – planting native species of trees, shrubs and plants; 27 Two groups offer gardening opportunities. One involves caring for a native plants demonstration garden and the other for a large vegetable garden that provides food for the group and its CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program. Although the gardening activities take place in a more formal setting than the other Hands On activities, garden work still does bring people into direct contact with the earth (literally). Further, in speaking with the volunteers, and in doing the gardening activities, one can see that this type of volunteer activity does seem to have the same tangible results and direct sense of accomplishment, as well as the same type of teamwork that are found in rougher activities like invasive species removals. 127 site preparation - including work like removing large woody debris and stumps and levelling ground for planting; trails – creating and maintaining trails; workdays – general listings of ‘restoration work’ or ‘workdays’. Keeping It Real – The Administrative Activities Administrative activities tend to incorporate more ‘indoor’ work than the Hands On activities (though some of the organizing is done onsite at workdays). The activities in this category are those that have a less direct impact on the natural environment, but which are necessary for maintaining the smooth functioning of the groups. Administrative activities, which are done by almost half of the people who answered this question (N = 53), were listed 69 times in this study giving an average of 1.30 activities per person doing Administrative activities. Table 4.3 summarizes the data collected about the six different types of Administrative activities reported by the respondents in this study. Table 4.3 Participation in Administrative Activities Administrative Activity Computer Funding General Admin. Meetings Organizing Permissions Overall Administrative Participation Number Reporting Activity 2 5 8 49 4 1 Mean Frequency (times/year) 19.00 26.00 154.00 7.02 29.33 4.00 Std. Deviation Frequency 9.90 25.06 179.79 6.45 20.53 -- 69 26.09 71.86 Frequency N Mean Enjoyment 2 3 5 41 3 1 3.00 4.40 3.63 3.96 4.25 5.00 Std. Deviation Enjoyment 1.41 0.55 1.51 0.85 0.96 -- 45 3.95 0.85 Enjoyment N 2 5 8 48 4 1 52 Table 4.2 shows that meetings were by far the most commonly listed Administrative activity (N = 49). However, those who reported general listing of ‘administrative 128 work’ have the highest mean frequency of participation in this category (M = 154.00, SD = 179.79. N = 8). The individual who reported working to gain permission for the work from various governmental agencies that oversee the parks gave the highest enjoyment rating of 5.0028. Other Administrative activities reported include: computer work – like data management and software support; funding – gaining and managing funds for the groups’ work; organizing – like recruiting and supervising volunteers. Speaking Up – The Outreach Activities All activities related to teaching, educating, and ‘spreading the word’ about the importance of the environmental issues and the groups’ work were coded into the Outreach category. This category was the third most commonly reported type of work done by the volunteers, though activities in this category were only listed by 26% of those who responded to this question (N = 29)29. With 40 listings, most people in this category listed only one Outreach activity (averaging 1.38 activities each). Table 4.4 summarizes the data related to participation in Outreach activities. 28 The limited number of individuals reporting each type of administrative activity within the Administrative category, and the variability of this data (where applicable) does limit the generalizability of the data in this area. 29 In fact, the generally small numbers of respondents listing activities for any of the individual Outreach activities advise caution in generalizing these findings to wider groups of stewardship volunteers. 129 Table 4.4 Participation in Outreach Activities Outreach Activity Cross-Pollination Educating Events Lobbying Materials Word Spreading Overall Outreach Participation Number Reporting Activity 3 11 14 2 6 4 Mean Frequency (times/year) 9.00 16.00 3.58 4.00 2.17 11.75 Std. Deviation Frequency 5.20 16.63 3.65 0.00 0.75 16.30 40 11.00 13.74 Frequency N Mean Enjoyment 3 10 12 2 6 4 4.90 4.45 4.79 5.00 4.17 4.00 Std. Deviation Enjoyment 0.17 1.13 1.72 0.00 0.41 2.00 28 4.30 1.00 Enjoyment N 3 11 14 2 6 4 29 The most commonly reported Outreach activity was helping with public outreach and celebratory events (N =14), while participating in teaching and educating of others, both informally and in formal programs was, on average, the most frequently done activity in this category (M = 16.00 times/year, SD = 16.63, N = 10). ‘Crosspollination’ activities, or bringing news of the home groups’ activities to other groups with common interests received the highest mean enjoyment ratings of the Outreach activities (M = 4.90, SD = 0.17, N = 3). The last three Outreach activities are: lobbying - raising awareness to government personnel and elected officials on important environmental issues; materials – creating outreach materials like newsletters, websites, and signs; ‘spreading the Word’ activities - like talking to one’s friends and family and giving out information in public places, like libraries. What’s Left? – Other Activities The final category, the ‘Other’ activities, does not have a coherent theme like the above three activity categories. Rather, the Other category was created for any 130 activities that were listed that do not fit into the first three types of activity groups. Additionally, while the activities in this category are important to the groups’ functioning, they tend to have a less direct connection to the groups’ main purposes, projects, and programs. About 38% of the people who answered this question listed Other activities (N = 42). These respondents noted 50 activities, which are summarized on Table 4.5. Table 4.5 Participation in Other Activities Other Activity Courses Group Workshops Maintenance Propagation Social Workday Support Overall Other Participation Number Reporting Activity 4 13 15 4 8 6 Mean Frequency (times/year) 3.67 3.85 62.38 -12.86 33.00 Std. Deviation Frequency 0.58 2.82 77.48 -17.76 21.42 42 25.94 51.25 Frequency N Mean Enjoyment 3 13 8 0 7 5 4.75 4.31 3.62 5.00 4.63 3.50 Std. Deviation Enjoyment 0.50 0.75 0.90 0.00 0.52 1.38 31 4.18 0.88 Enjoyment N 4 13 15 4 8 6 41 Maintenance work is the most commonly (listed by 15 people) and frequently (M = 62.38, SD = 77.48, N = 8) done set of activities in the Other category. Activities coded for maintenance work included helping with the upkeep on the buildings and properties owned by two of the study groups, as well as the hatchery buildings and facilities under the care of three of the groups. This work also encompassed helping with the cattle and chickens kept by two of the groups. The ‘gardening work’ counted in the Hands on category above is not coded as maintenance work. Propagating native plants for use in the groups’ native planting workdays received the highest possible enjoyment rating of 5.00 by all four individuals who reported 131 this work. Unfortunately, however, these individuals did not give precise responses about the frequency at which they do this volunteering. Instead, they either did not indicate a frequency at all or gave responses like ‘depends on the season’, and ‘ongoing’ so frequency calculations could not be done for this type of volunteering. The four activities remaining in the Other category are: courses – taking workshops, classes and seminars to improve one’s knowledge or skills related to volunteering with one’s home group; group workshops – educational gatherings hosted by the groups; social activities – like parties and potlucks; and workday Support – preparing food, cleaning up, and other activities related to supporting workday participants. - The mean enjoyment rating for this activity was lowered somewhat by a rating by one individual of 1.00 who helps in the clean-up activities. Without this score, the mean workday support enjoyment rises to 4.00 (SD = 0.71). NOTE: because the ‘Other’ activity category contains disparate, unrelated activities, and because only small numbers of individuals reported doing any one of these Other activities, no further analyses are included in the dissertation for this category. Overall Mean Participation by Activity Category Figure 4.4 illustrates the number of activities reported by the respondents in each activity category. As expected, the figure shows that Hands On activities are by far the most common type of activity done by the participants in this study (N = 186). This was followed by Administrative work, which received just over one third of the 132 listings of the Hands On category (N = 69). The Outreach category only received 40 listings and the Other category only 50 listings (both less than one third of the number listed for Hands On activities). Figure 4.4 Number of Listings by Activity Category 200 180 160 Number of Listings 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Hands On Administrative Outreach Other Activity Category The overall mean frequencies of participation in each activity category are shown in Figure 4.5. This figure shows an overall pattern that is similar to that of Figure 4.4, but the differences between the categories are not as great. Here, Hands On activities are done with the greatest overall mean frequency (M = 30.87 times/year, SD = 53.42, N = 87). The Administrative activities are done at the second highest frequency with an overall mean of 26.09, SD = 71.86, N = 45), followed closely by the Other activities, which are done at an overall mean frequency of 25.94 133 times/year (SD = 51.25, N = 31). Outreach activities are still last with an overall mean frequency of 11.00 times/year (SD = 13.74, N = 28). Figure 4.5 Overall Mean Frequency of Participation by Activity Category 35 Mean Frequency of Participation (times/year) 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Hands On Administrative Outreach Other Activity Category Figure 4.6 shows the overall mean enjoyment ratings given to each activity category. This figure shows a deviation from the patterns given in the last two figures. Although Hands On activities retain the highest position with an overall mean enjoyment of 4.51 (SD = 2.07, N = 102), the Administrative category has dropped to last place with an overall mean enjoyment of 3.95 (SD = 0.85, N = 52). In contrast, Outreach activities have moved to the second place with an overall mean enjoyment of 4.30 (SD = 1.00, N = 29). Other activities are now third with an overall mean enjoyment of 4.18 (SD = 0.88, N = 41). 134 Figure 4.6 Overall Mean Enjoyment Ratings by Activity Category 4.60 4.50 4.40 Mean Enjoyment Ratings 4.30 4.20 4.10 4.00 3.90 3.80 3.70 3.60 Hands On Administrative Outreach Other Activity Category Demographics and Participation in the Groups’ Activities As described above, a number of questions were asked about the demographics of those participating in the survey. It is possible that some of these variables may have an influence on the respondents’ participation in their groups’ activities. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were done to see how these demographic variables might relate to the volunteers’ participation. Remember that in these analyses, the amalgamated, categorized data for the activity categories are used. The majority of the demographic variables were not found to have an influence on most of the variables related to the volunteers’ involvement with their groups. However, two demographic variables: the number of children that a volunteer has 135 living at home (if applicable) and the respondent’s gender did show an impact on some of the involvement variables. These relationships are discussed below. The Number of Children at Home and Group Involvement The number of children that a respondent has at home (if she has children) was found to be a significant predictor of the responses for three variables related to the respondents’ participation in their groups’ activities. In two of these models, it was the only significant predictor. Group tenure was the first participation variable that seems to be influenced by the number of children a volunteer has at home. In this case, the regression explained about a quarter of the tenure data (R2adj = 0.26), with significant results [F(1, 29) = 11.22, p = 0.002]. Further, the number of children at home was the only significant predictor in this model [t(28) = -3.35, p = 0.002]. The beta coefficient (β = -0.54) suggests that for each child a participant still has living at home, his group tenure is decreased by about six months. A fairly good model for Outreach enjoyment ratings (R2adj = 0.97) was found at a highly significant level [F(1,6) = 79.93, p = 0.00], again with the number of children at home as the only significant predictor [t(7) = -14.83, p = 0.00]. The beta coefficient of -0.92 indicates that for every additional child a respondent has, it is expected that his enjoyment rating of Outreach activities would be decreased by nearly one point. 136 In the last model, that for Hands On frequency, the number of children at home modelled with a second variable - gender. This model also had a reasonably strong explanatory value (R2adj = 0.45), and it is highly significant [F(2,21) = 10.26, p = 0.001]. In this model the number of children at home was significant [t(23) = -3.75, p = 0.001], and suggests for each additional child still living at home, a respondent’s participation in Hands On activities is decreased by nearly once each year (β = 0.61). Gender and Group Involvement As mentioned above, gender was modelled with the number of children at home as influencing participation in Hands On volunteering. Gender too was significant in this model [t(23) = -3.50 p = 0.002, β = -0.57], where women are expected to volunteer on average 0.57 times per year less frequently in Hands On activities than men do. 4.4.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do? The responses to the two open-ended questions about the additional activities people would like to do are examined in this section. Sixty-six people responded to one or both of these questions, though four indicated they were ‘too new’ to be able to respond. In all, 102 suggestions were given of different activities these respondents would like to do with their groups. Because 137 there was a great deal of overlap in the responses to these two questions, the data are discussed together here. A qualitative, descriptive approach is used in order to best reflect the responses given. The different types of activities suggested in these two questions were as follows: 35 respondents listed activities in the Hands On categories. - 9 of these individuals specified ‘more of the same’. - Others indicated wanting to do other activities that similar groups in the region were doing. 20 respondents would like to build more support for their groups’ work done through: - outreach activities to the general public and local communities; - building relationships with comparable organizations in the region; - obtaining stronger support from relevant governmental agencies and personnel. 15 people listed monitoring, assessment and planning processes to prioritize their groups’ work. 15 participants cited formal and informal learning activities like: - walks and workshops by ‘experts’ on particular topics and - onsite gaining of skills and knowledge at workdays. 13 people would like to do activities that increase personal well-being while at workdays. - For some this meant pursuing hobbies like photography. - For others the focus was more on having space to spend time with one’s fellow volunteers and/or in nature. 4 people said they would not do any more activities with their groups. 138 - Comments were less about unhappiness with the volunteer experience than about already being fully committed to the group or having other obligations that prevent additional volunteering. - One individual of these four however did express dissatisfaction related to being ‘stuck with secretarial jobs’ (a topic discussed more fully below). 4.4.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? This question is answered in two sections reflecting the commitment variables discussed in the previous chapter – volunteer priority, level of participation, and whether or not participation depends on the type of activity being done. Level of activity was discussed above, but the other two variables are detailed here. The priority ratings given by the volunteers are presented first. The second part contains analyzes for correlations between frequency and enjoyment of participation in the remaining three activity categories (recall that no further analyses are included for the ‘Other’ category). A third section examines how demographics might affect commitment. Volunteer Priority Ratings Responses to the priority rating survey question indicate that the participants in this study seemed to give high priority to volunteering with their groups. The average rating to this question was 3.96 (SD 1.04, N = 122), where 5.00 was ‘very high priority’, and 1.00 was ‘very low priority’. 139 Rates of Participation and Enjoyment Ratings by Activity Category As seen above, the number of times that activities were reported and the frequencies at which they were done did not always correspond with the enjoyment ratings for these activities. Beyond just looking at these general patterns however, the potential correlation (or lack of correlation) between the overall mean frequencies of participation in each activity category was tested statistically against the overall mean enjoyment rating for each category. In three activity categories no significant relationships were found. The fourth activity category, Administrative volunteering, had a somewhat surprising result. In this case, the correlation was negative (r = -0.31, p = 0.019, N = 46). The negative correlation indicates that as frequency of participation in Administrative tasks increases, the average enjoyment ratings for these activities decrease. Demographics and Commitment The same two demographic variables are highlighted in relation to the measures of volunteer commitment as were found in volunteer participation – gender and the number of children at home. The Number of Children at Home and Commitment The number of children that the respondents had living at home was the only variable that was significant when looking at the influence of demographics on the respondents’ priority ratings [F(1, 28) = 5.25, p = 0.03]. However, this model has an 140 explanatory value of only just over 10% (R2adj = 0.13). In this regression, the number of children at home has a negative effect (β = -0.40), meaning that on average, a respondent’s priority rating would be expected to decrease about 0.40 points for each additional child she has still living at home. Gender and ‘Indoor’ Volunteering The negative relationship between the frequency of participation in Administrative activities and the enjoyment ratings for these activities was explored more fully in light of gender. Comments in a few (certainly not all) of the groups had been made during the interviews, in the open-ended sections on the survey, and in informal discussions at workdays and meetings that administrative tasks seemed to be taken on most often by the women in the group (this was sometimes phrased ‘relegated to’ the women). Questions arose about the ‘fairness’ of this perceived imbalance, as well as whether this would cause burnout among the women who seemed obligated to take on the ‘more tedious’ Administrative tasks, and so who were also less able to participate in the ‘more fun’ Hands On tasks. The question of the role of the women in stewardship volunteering was mentioned in four of the groups, but seemed to be a particular issue in two of them. The issue was raised during the interviews, on the surveys, and in informal conversations with the volunteers. Although women made the most number of comments on the topic, a small number of men also made note of the issue. Separate analyses were attempted for the two groups that seemed to have the most concern, but the small numbers of people doing both Administrative tasks and belonging to one of these 141 groups made it impossible to produce meaningful results, especially when the respondents were also separated by gender. Spearman’s rho tests on Administrative enjoyment ratings and frequency of participation in this category were performed again with the data separated by the respondents’ genders. For women, the relationship remained negative but was not significant (r = -0.11, p = 0.31, N = 22). On the other hand, on using these tests for men a significant negative relationship was still found (r = -0.42, p = 0.038, N = 19). Those raising concerns about gender imbalances in their groups often phrased their thoughts in terms of the bulk of the ‘indoor work’ being ‘assigned to’ the women, while the men ‘got to’ do the ‘outdoor work’30. Recognizing that the categories created for this study did not necessarily code the volunteering in this way, the data was recoded for ‘indoor work’ (adding, for example, activities like creating newsletters). Independent-samples t-tests were used to see if there were differences between men and women for a variety of Administrative volunteering aspects, as well as for those of the new ‘indoor’ coded data. These tests showed no significant differences between women and men in the number of either Administrative activities or indoor tasks listed by those who do them, though this number might be slightly misleading 30 Another concern that was mentioned by some volunteers was that even when looking just at the ‘indoor’ work, the women were most often found in administrative roles (e.g. group secretary), while the men got the ‘better’ placements, like group president. This is a concern that cannot be addressed in this dissertation, but is one that is left for future research (see Chapter 5). 142 as many of the women listed simply ‘administrative tasks’, while the men tended to break this category down into individual tasks such as ‘computer work’, ‘funding applications’, etc. Further analyses, however, also showed no differences between men and women in either the frequencies at which they do these types of volunteering activities, or the mean enjoyment ratings given by the two genders to these types of work. A notable finding was that in every case the variations in the responses among the women were greater than those for the men. At first review then, it would seem that while there are some individual women who are unhappy doing ‘more than their share’ of the Administrative/indoor tasks within their groups, on average there is little difference between the genders in this category. However, additional analyses point to other variables that may be involved in this issue. Significant negative relationships were found between the women’s average frequency of participation in Hands On activities and their average enjoyment ratings of both Administrative (r = -0.44, p = 0.033, N = 18) and Outreach (r = -0.74, p = 0.003, N = 12) work. In contrast, when the men were analyzed separately, these relationships were not significant for either the Administrative or Outreach enjoyment ratings. These relationships also did not hold when the genders were analyzed together. Although these analyses do not give statistical ‘proof’, they do suggest that participation in Hands On activities might act as an intervening variable, where women who participate in this ‘outdoor’ work then tend to enjoy their 143 ‘indoor’ volunteering less than women who participate less often in the outdoor volunteering. 4.4.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? Data and analyses for this research question are divided into three sections reflecting the study variables related to things that contribute to positive volunteer experiences and to the recruitment and maintenance of volunteer support. Research question 5.1 examines the volunteers’ motivations. Next, research question 5.2 reviews the ‘greatest satisfactions or rewards’ the volunteers said they take from their work. Finally, the respondents’ ideas on how they would prefer to be thanked by their groups are discussed in research question 5.3. As detailed more fully below, respondents in this study seemed to place higher value on items in four areas. These ‘big four’ areas of emphasis were: accomplishment, or those related to ‘making a difference’; those centred on various aspects of ‘personal welfare’; those focussed on ‘group solidarity’; and those in the ‘learning and skills’ category, related to learning new things. Although these areas of emphasis are seen, to some degree, in all areas of stewardship volunteering in this study, where statistical analyses were done, these areas are most prevalent among the Hands On volunteers 144 RQ 5.1: What Motivates People to Participate in Stewardship Volunteering? The results and analyses for this RQ are presented in four parts. The first part gives a general overview of volunteer motivations. Next, analyses are done to examine potential correlations between motivational ratings and the participation and commitment variables presented above. The third part investigates the relationships between motivations and demographics. The last part summarizes the additional motivations the respondents reported on their surveys. Motivational Ratings Volunteer motivations were explored through a Likert-type question, which asked respondents to give a rating from 1 (‘not a motivation’) to 4 (‘strong motivation’) for each of a list of 18 reasons that might prompt people to volunteer their time. Figure 4.7 shows a summary of the overall mean scores given to each item by the survey respondents. 145 Figure 4.7 Volunteers’ Mean Motivational Item Ratings 4.50 4.00 3.50 Average Ratings 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 lls /F rie nd s R eq ui re m en t Sk i Jo b fs Ta ug ht Be lie Pl ay ed Pr ob le m ily Fa m H el p N at ur e W or th w Ac hi co le m pl Fu is h tu m re en G t en er at io ns R ew ar di ng C on tri bu te Te am w or k Le ar ni ng R ec re at io n M ee tP eo pl e R el ax at io n 0.00 Motivational Items The altruistic motivation of ‘helping the natural environment’ was given the highest mean ratings by the volunteers (M = 3.91, SD = 0.35, N = 109)31. A second altruistic motivation, ‘improving the environment for future generations’ (M = 3.71, SD = 0.53, N = 108), also scored in the top five motivations for volunteering. However, volunteers also give high ratings to the personal psychological benefits they derived, including feeling their work is worthwhile (M = 3.87, SD = 0.39, N = 108) and rewarding (M = 3.64, SD = 0.63, N = 109), and gives them a sense of accomplishment (M = 3.71, SD = 0.60, N = 108) (all of which are also related to ‘making a difference’). 31 Full explanations of each of these eighteen items may be found in Question 9 of the survey instrument (Appendix E). They are also described more fully as they are highlighted in the discussions below. 146 Motivational Factors Factor analyses were done on the responses to the 18 motivational items listed on the questionnaire. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was 0.75, which is acceptable. The eigenvalues suggested between two and six factors where there was a score 4.90 for the first factor, and 2.21 for the second factor, and just over 1 for the next four factors. However, the scree plot, shown in Figure 4.8, clearly levelled off after the first two factors. These two factors are used for this study. They were labelled ‘Personal Benefits’ and ‘Ethical Benefits’. Figure 4.8 Scree Plot for Motivational Factor Analyses Table 4.6 shows the loadings and communalities for these factors, with the strongest contributors (those leading to the factor labels) shaded on the table. Together, the two factors explain nearly 40% of the motivational variance. 147 Table 4.6 Motivation Factor Loadings and Communalities Component Personal Ethical Communality Motivational Item Benefits Benefits Recreation 0.81 0.73 Relaxing 0.75 0.60 Teamwork 0.57 0.65 Accomplishment 0.56 0.52 0.69 Rewarding 0.56 0.37 0.62 Contribute 0.54 0.65 Played 0.54 0.50 0.68 Help Nature 0.79 0.69 Worthwhile 0.78 0.75 Future Generations 0.74 0.57 New People 0.23 0.77 Family/Friends -0.26 0.75 Taught 0.26 0.28 0.49 Problem 0.20 0.36 0.64 Learning 0.70 Job Skills 0.66 Beliefs 0.68 Requirement 0.66 Explanatory Value of Factor 27.24% 12.27% Note: Factor loadings < 0.20 were suppressed The first factor, Personal Benefits, captures 27.24% of the variance. As seen on the table, the most strongly loading items in the Personal Benefits factor are generally directed toward bringing advantages toward the individual volunteer. This factor also loads strongly on the three of the four predicted themes: Personal Welfare – finding the work ‘recreational’ and ‘relaxing’ have the two highest loadings in this factor. Having ‘played in nature as a child’ tied for the fifth highest loading.32. Group Solidarity – enjoying a ‘sense of teamwork’ through this volunteering has the third highest loading. Making a Difference – finding the work ‘rewarding’ and taking a ‘sense of accomplishment’ from it have the fourth strongest loadings in this factor33. 148 The altruistic motivation of wanting to ‘contribute to one’s community’ also has a strong loading in this factor. The Ethical Benefits factor, which explains 12.27% of the variance, has heavy loadings that are directed more to ethical and altruistic items about helping the environment. In fact, wanting to ‘help the natural environment’ has the strongest loading in this factor. Finding the work to be ‘worthwhile’, and the wish to ‘help future generations’ closely follow this item. An interesting finding in this factor is the negative loading given to being ‘encouraged by one’s family or friends to volunteer’, meaning that this motivational item actually detracts from the Ethical Benefits motivational factor. Four motivational items did not load strongly on either of these two factors. These were practical considerations of wanting to ‘learn new things’ and ‘improve one’s job skills’ through volunteering, as well as feeling obligated to participate either through ‘one’s religious or spiritual beliefs’ or as a ‘mandated volunteering requirement’ (e.g. for high school credits). Before moving on to the next section, an important note must be made about the correlational analyses found below. That is, while two motivational factors were found for this research, these two factors, along with the individual motivational 32 This item is thought to relate to nostalgia and to ideas of the volunteering being a ‘form of play’. An interesting finding is that feeling work is ‘worthwhile’ did not load heavily on this factor even though it seems related to the ‘making a difference’ theme. 33 149 items from the survey were all tested during the analyses. This ‘testing of everything’ was done because the research is largely exploratory and there was concern that by relying strictly on the motivational factors, some of the subtleties of the data would be lost. In fact, in reviewing the results of the correlational analyses to follow, we can see that this caution was warranted as the individual items often showed correlations where the amalgamated, factored data did not. Similarly, both the constraint factors and constraint items were used in the correlational analyses for that part of the research (found with RQ 6, beginning on page 167 below). Motivations That Most Contribute to Volunteer Recruitment and Retention This question is answered by examining how the motivational items and factors relate to different aspects of gaining and maintaining the support of stewardship volunteers. First, correlations between tenure and motivation are discussed. These analyses are followed by those for correlations between motivations and the frequency and enjoyment data for each activity category. The last analyses in this section investigate how motivations may relate to the commitment variable of the volunteers’ priority ratings. Motivations and Tenure Table 4.7 shows the significant relationships that were found between the tenure that people have with their groups and the ratings that they gave to the motivational items and factors. As seen on the table, ten statistically significant relationships were found between tenure and motivational ratings. 150 Table 4.7 Significant Motivations and Tenure Correlation Sig. N Coefficient (1-tailed) Motivation -0.44** 0.001 52 Requirement 0.36** 0.000 109 Rewarding 0.30** 0.001 108 Future Generations 0.26** 0.003 111 Recreation 0.24** 0.006 104 Contribute 0.24** 0.006 105 Played 0.22* 0.022 83 Job Skills 0.22* 0.011 108 Accomplishment 0.19* 0.031 99 Problem 0.18* 0.029 106 Relaxing **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). The strongest correlation was also one of the most notable. It is a negative one between tenure and ‘volunteering as a requirement’ (r = -0.44, p = 0.001, N = 52), where this item relates to those who those who participate for reasons like obtaining high school community service credits, or fulfilling Master Gardener volunteer hours. This negative result between this motivational item and tenure suggests those with greater tenure are less likely to be motivated by a ‘requirement’ to volunteer. This result also suggests that those who are coerced to volunteer only do so for as long as they are required to do so. Of the other strongest five correlations found here, the second was a ‘making a difference’ item of finding the work to be ‘rewarding’. Two others are altruistic: wanting to ‘help future generations’ and to ‘contribute to one’s community’. The final two are the personal welfare items of finding the work to be ‘recreational’ and having ‘played in nature as a child’. 151 Motivations and Hands On Volunteering Table 4.8 shows that while almost all of the motivational items are correlated with the enjoyment ratings given to Hands On volunteering, only four motivational items relate to frequency of participation in this activity category (the shaded areas were not significant). These findings tend to show that while there are specific reasons people have for deciding how often to volunteer in Hands On work, a variety of variables can increase the enjoyment they take from it. Table 4.8 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Hands On Frequency and Enjoyment Motivation Rewarding Recreation Learning Teamwork Future Generations Played Accomplishment Family/Friends New People Relaxing Taught Problem Contribute Frequency Correlation Sig. Coefficient (1-tailed) 0.35** 0.001 0.27** 0.005 0.24* 0.013 0.21* 0.029 N 84 86 85 83 Enjoyment Correlation Sig. Coefficient (1-tailed) 0.32** 0.001 0.19* 0.027 0.32** 0.001 0.24** 0.008 0.30** 0.001 0.29** 0.002 0.28** 0.002 -0.28* 0.015 0.23* 0.010 0.21* 0.021 0.20* 0.041 0.19* 0.038 0.18* 0.041 N 99 101 99 98 98 95 98 60 99 96 80 89 94 *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). All of the motivations correlated with frequency show positive relationships, indicating that, in general, as people gave higher ratings to these items, they also reported more frequent participation in Hands On volunteering. Further, these motivational items fell into the four categories expected for these volunteers: Making a Difference – finding the work ‘rewarding’ was the strongest correlation. 152 Personal Welfare – finding the work ‘recreational’ was the second strongest correlation. Learning and Skills – wanting to ‘learn new things’ had the third strongest correlation. Group Solidarity – enjoying ‘a sense of teamwork’ was the fourth strongest correlation. In contrast to frequency of participation in Hands On activities, all but five of the motivational items showed correlations with the enjoyment ratings in this category. These items covered the full range of motivations from altruistic to personal welfare. Additionally, all four of the motivations that were correlated with Hands On frequency were also correlated with enjoyment in this category. However, one of the most notable Hands On enjoyment ratings correlations was with a different item. Here, being ‘encouraged to volunteer by one’s family or friends’ showed a negative relationship with the Hands On enjoyment ratings, indicating that, on average, the more strongly people held this reason for volunteering, the less enjoyment they took from their Hands On work. Motivations and Administrative Volunteering The findings for the frequency of participation in Administrative activities were interesting in that the motivational correlations here, along with the one for the Administrative enjoyment ratings, are better predicted by the non-environmental community service literature than that for those participating in the environmental movement. 153 Table 4.9 shows the three correlations that were found between the frequency of participation in Administrative work and motivational items plus the one with the Ethical Benefits motivational factor. The group solidarity item of enjoying ‘being part of a volunteer team’ is the only one that falls into one of the motivational themes generally emphasized in this study. Table 4.9 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Administrative Frequency Correlation Sig. N Motivation Coefficient (1-tailed) 0.36* 0.035 26 Family/Friends 0.35* 0.012 41 Contribute 0.26* 0.042 44 Teamwork 0.48* 0.014 13 Ethical Well-Being The overall mean Administrative enjoyment rating only showed one correlation with motivations, that with the practical consideration of wanting to ‘improve one’s job skills’ (r = 0.28, p = 0.035, N = 41). Motivations and Outreach Volunteering The only correlation between frequency of participation in the Outreach category and motivation was somewhat unexpected. It was a negative one with finding the work to be ‘worthwhile’ (r = -0.33, p = 0.047, N = 27). This result is unexpected in that it shows that, on average, as people gave lower ratings to this motivation as their frequency of participation in Outreach volunteering increased. There were five correlations between motivations and Outreach enjoyment ratings. These are summarized in Table 4.10. In this case, the altruistic items of wanting to 154 ‘help nature’ and to ‘solve a problem in one’s community’ showed the strongest correlations. The making a difference items of finding the work ‘rewarding’ was third, followed by the understanding item of ‘learning new things’ and the personal welfare item of ‘having played in nature as a child’. Table 4.10 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Outreach Enjoyment Correlation Sig. Coefficient (1-tailed) N Motivation Help Nature 0.44** 0.009 29 Problem 0.42* 0.021 24 Rewarding 0.39* 0.022 27 Learning 0.38* 0.023 28 Played 0.37* 0.028 28 *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). Motivations and Commitment In this section, potential correlations between the volunteers’ priority ratings and motivations are examined. Table 4.11 summarizes the significant correlations found between the priority and motivation ratings. 155 Table 4.11 Significant Correlations between Motivations and Priority Ratings Correlation Coefficient Sig. (1-tailed) N Motivation Rewarding 0.49** 0.000 108 0.33** 0.000 107 Teamwork Played 0.32** 0.000 104 Accomplishment 0.29** 0.001 107 0.28** 0.002 110 Recreation Learning 0.26** 0.003 108 0.26** 0.003 107 Future Generations Taught 0.22* 0.022 87 0.21* 0.015 107 Worthwhile 0.20* 0.019 103 Contribute New People 0.16* 0.046 108 0.34* 0.024 35 Personal Benefits **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). As seen on the table, the five strongest correlations are found between priority and motivational items. All fall into three of the four expected themes for environmental volunteers: Group Solidarity – enjoying a sense of ‘teamwork’ was the second strongest correlation. Personal Welfare – having ‘played in nature as a child’ had the third strongest correlation while finding the work to be ‘recreational’ was fifth. Making a Difference – finding the work ‘rewarding’ was the strongest correlation while taking ‘a sense of accomplishment’ was fourth. Demographics and Motivations In the regression analyses done in this section, the motivations (items and factors) were used as the dependent variables, with the demographic variables acting as the independent variables. Few correlations were found in any of these analyses. However, two variables, ethnicity and the number of children a volunteer has at home, were found to be significant in several of the motivational models. 156 Ethnicity and Motivations Ethnicity was significant in the models for four motivations. Tukey t tests were done to explore this demographic further. In every case, those of Asian backgrounds gave lower average ratings than those from at least one other ethnic group (European or Other) in the study. Table 4.12 summarizes the mean ratings for these items by ethnicity. Table 4.12 Differences in Mean Motivational Ratings by Ethnicity Ethnicity Motivational Item Help Nature Accomplishment Fut. Generations Played Asian European Other Std. Std. Std. Mean Mean Mean F(x,y) Deviation Deviation Deviation not significant 3.60 0.74 3.95 0.22 (2,93) = 6.39 3.00 0.93 3.84 0.40 4.00 0.00 (2,92) = 17.60 3.27 0.59 3.79 0.47 4.00 0.00 (2, 93) = 8.17 2.07 1.14 3.31 1.09 4.00 0.00 (2, 89) = 8.61 p 0.003 0.000 0.001 0.000 The Number of Children at Home and Motivations Having children at home (if applicable) was also found to have a negative influence on the mean ratings for four motivational items, and in every case this was the only demographic variable to enter the models. Although the models were not strong, all were significant. Table 4.13 summarizes the results of these analyses. Table 4.13 Effects on Motivational Ratings by Number of Children at Home Motivation R2adj F* Recreation 24 12.33 Rewarding 18 8.78 Contribute 16 7.61 Teamwork 8 4.28 *. (x,y) = (1,35) in all cases t* p β -3.51 -2.96 -2.76 -2.07 0.001 0.005 0.009 0.050 -0.51 -0.37 -0.42 -0.33 157 As the table shows, for each additional child a participant still has living at home, we would expect her average ratings for the significant motivations to drop as follows: finding the work ‘recreational’ about half a point, finding it ‘rewarding’ by about four tenths of a point, wanting to ‘contribute to one’s community’ by about four tenths of a point, enjoying being ‘part of a volunteer team’ by about one third of a point . Additional Motivations for Stewardship Volunteering Forty-five people wrote in ‘other motivations’ that they felt prompted their work, giving 52 suggestions. However many of these suggestions overlapped with the items already included in the Likert-type ratings questions on the survey. The large amount of overlap of responses for this open-ended question with the listed items combined with the small number of unique ideas reported suggest that no vitally important motivational theme was missed in the development of the survey instrument. The ‘other motivations’ suggested by the respondents were grouped into loosely defined themes, which are dealt with qualitatively in this section. The themes and suggestions were as follows: Personal Welfare Motivations in this theme were listed by 14 people. This grouping includes physical and mental health benefits, expressing values and enjoying the work. 158 Positive Group Factors Thirteen people cited this type of motivation. This theme includes factors people enjoyed in their groups, for example liking the coordinator and/or fellow volunteers. ‘Passing It Forward’ Motivations in this theme were included by 8 respondents. This theme contains items related to teaching, setting an example, and ‘leaving a legacy’. Impacting One’s Community Eight people listed motivations in this category. This grouping includes: taking local action and picking up ‘government slack’. Using One’s Skills Two people reported this type of motivation. RQ 5.2 What Are the Greatest Satisfactions and Rewards for Stewardship Volunteers? This section looks at the responses given to the open-ended survey question on the responds’ ‘greatest satisfaction or reward’ from volunteering. In all, 105 people responded to this question, most of whom wrote more than one suggestion. A total of 208 items were listed for this question, for a mean of about two suggestions for each person who responded. The answers given by the respondents were coded into categories for discussion. Categories for coding were not pre-determined, but designed to capture the data such that all of the items in a theme would belong to that theme, without also belonging to another. In all, eight themes were created. Figure 4.9 shows a summary of the number of people who listed items within each of the eight themes. 159 Figure 4.9 Greatest Satisfaction or Reward 70 60 Number Citing Theme 50 40 30 20 10 0 Environment Social Good Feelings Values Skills Physical Health Educating Other Satisfaction Themes The eight themes are: Environment This was the most popular theme, with 61 respondents listing this type of satisfaction. This theme includes all expressions of ‘helping nature’ and/or specific wildlife or habitat features. - Making a real difference and/or seeing the direct results of one’s actions were common threads in this theme. - For example, “helping in a small way to preserve the habitat for salmon” (respondent 27). For example, “seeing a noticeable change in the park to which I can feel like I've accomplished something” (respondent 125). Although this theme seems to include to distinct categories: i) the altruistic wish to ‘help nature’ and ii) the more self-directed benefit of gaining good feelings related to accomplishing something good in nature, the responses to 160 this open-ended question generally tied these two sets of ideas so closely together that it was impossible to create separate categories for them. - It is suspected that perhaps people’s responses link these ideas of altruism and self-directed benefits so closely in this case because of the nature of stewardship work – helping nature is tied directly to seeing tangible results and ‘knowing’ that one has helped the environment. Further, it is thought likely that it is only through this ‘knowing’ that one has accomplished something that the satisfaction that comes from ‘helping nature’ is realized. Social Satisfactions related to this theme were listed by 40 people. This theme encompasses all mentions of social interactions, like making and maintaining friendships and social networking. - For example, “…enjoy working with others, meet new people…” (respondent 40). Group solidarity concepts of working with like-minded others, camaraderie and enjoyment of teamwork dominated this category. Good Feelings Thirty-seven people cited items in this theme. This theme contains personal welfare items that generally express the pleasure, enjoyment, and fun that people take from this volunteering. - Appreciations of opportunities to be outdoors and/or to interact with the natural environment were the prominent ideas in this category. - For example, “enjoyment of activity…” (respondent 71) or “…sheer enjoyment” (respondent 26). For example, “the chance to be in nature” (respondent 29), or “It feels good to be in such a beautiful place” (respondent 86). A small number of items related to comments about maintaining or improving one’s psychological well-being through volunteering were included here, like - “…[it’s] mindless-relaxing” (respondent 67), and “Letting my anger and frustration out on helpless [invasive] plants” (respondent 75). Values This theme has 27 listings. 161 This theme reflects comments made about people’s satisfaction with the chance to express personal values or interests through their environmental volunteering34. - Comments in this category (usually from the faith-based groups’ volunteers) often centred around religious ideals of ‘doing God’s work’ in ‘taking care of creation’. Skills Ideas related to this theme were listed 19 times. This theme includes all mentions of learning new things and new skills, as well as using one’s existing knowledge and skills. - For example, “…acquire more information on native plants…” (respondent 80), and “I get to use my brain, my creativity, my skills…” (respondent 59). - All but two comments in this theme centred on learning new things or skills rather than using existing ones. Physical Health Items in this theme were included by 8 respondents. This theme centres on comments that people can maintain or improve their physical health through volunteering. - For example, “…[it’s] a workout” (respondent 23). Educating Satisfactions related to this theme were cited by 7 people. This theme includes all mentions of teaching others about the environment and the groups’ activities, setting an example, modelling behaviour, and related items. - For example, “being able to…plant very important seeds in kids + adults” (respondent 21 – emphasis his). Other 34 Nine listings are included in this theme. This theme does not have a particular theme, but includes all comments that were made that did not fit into any of the ‘themed’ satisfaction categories. These do not include the ‘help nature-specific’ ones included in the environment category above 162 RQ 5.3: What Thank You Gestures or Awards Would the Volunteers Most Like to Receive? Responses to the open-ended question asking people how they would prefer to be thanked by their groups are discussed in this question. Eighty-nine people responded to this question, giving 163 suggestions of ways that would like to be thanked for their volunteering, averaging about 1.83 suggestions each. Responses were coded in a similar way as for the responses to the ‘greatest satisfaction’ question above. Figure 4.10 shows a summary of the number of people who cited items within each of the thank you themes described below. Figure 4.10 How to Thank 35 30 Number Citing Theme 25 20 15 10 5 C on ce rn s oo d ce G R es ou r Fe el s ro up Fo rG Fo od W or kd ay N am ed s Be in g Ev en t G ro up Le tte rs /C er tif ic at es Be yo nd ith in G ro up To ke ns W N o Th an ks 0 Thank You Theme Often, the items listed by the respondents in this question were noted as already being provided by the groups, with the idea that the respondent was happy with 163 these gestures. Many felt that no thank you gestures or awards were needed beyond what is already received. A small number of respondents also made note of rewards given by comparable groups in the area, suggesting that similar thank you gestures might also be appropriate for their groups. Although many respondents indicated that they did not wish to receive any thanks or awards, it could be that the absence of thank you gestures would be noticed if the groups were to stop providing them. In fact, a strike of the City of Vancouver’s outdoor workers during the data collection period affected the snacks provided to the volunteers, something that was indeed noted on a survey. The 11 ‘how to thank’ themes are: No Thanks With 30 listings, this is the most common theme. This theme includes all specifications that no reward or thank you was sought or desired. - 19 respondents also still added other ideas for ways to be thanked (tangible or intangible) that were coded into the other themes below. Tokens Suggestions related to this theme were made by 28 people. This theme includes all mentions of small gifts or items that the groups could give (or do give) to their volunteers. - 35 suggestions of tokens were given in all. Most respondents listed more than one item. Each of these respondents was coded once for ‘tokens’ but each suggestion was counted individually here. 164 - 18 supported the idea of group solidarity with suggestions of T-Shirts, vests, pins, and other items with the groups’ logos, indicating membership with the team. - 12 specified items of relevance, like gift certificates to nurseries, subscriptions to environmental magazines, and work tools. - Among the other suggestions were reimbursement of one’s expenses35 and gift certificates for movies, restaurants, and bookstores. Within-Group Support This theme was cited by 26 respondents. This is another group solidarity theme, which includes positive feedback, encouragement, and a warm reception from the leaders and other group members, as well as camaraderie and good feelings from being part of the team. - For example, “a pat on the back” (respondent 32), “…a genuine thank you” (respondent 17), or “…a handshake” (respondent 100), or - “…Everyone in this group is supportive and encouraging every single time you show up. You always feel appreciated and welcome! I love it!” (respondent 88). Beyond-Group Support Ideas related to this theme were listed by 17 people. This theme relates to recognition and positive feedback (both formal and informal) from those outside the group, like: the general public, various governmental agencies and people (usually at the municipal and regional levels), the media, and those who use the areas where the volunteering takes place. - For example, “I receive all the recognition I need through the people who visit the bog and appreciate what we are doing…” (respondent 78), and “mention in community newspapers” (respondent 20); Letters and Certificates of Reference or Thanks Thirteen individuals cited this theme. 35 This is not exactly a ‘token’, but, as for the other items in this category, requires a small expenditure of money for the volunteer. Reimbursement was suggested by three people and involved membership fees, costs (like gas) to volunteer, and costs for classes to update one’s skills and so be a better volunteer for the group. 165 Events Ideas in this theme were cited by 11 people. This theme included a number of ‘get together’ ideas including potlucks on the beach, pizza parties, and dinners. Some respondents also specified these are or ‘should be’ held by beyondgroup supporters, like Metro Vancouver, the individual municipalities in which the groups work, or umbrella organizations for the group. Being Named Ten respondents listed ideas related to this theme. This theme related to having one’s name listed in newsletters, websites, records of volunteer work, meeting minutes for specific achievements, or having a specific restored area or natural feature within the worksites dedicated to an exceptional volunteer. Workday Food This theme was included by 9 people. Suggestions in this theme ranged from cookies and cinnamon buns provided by some of the groups to a cooked lunch served to volunteers at another. For the Group This idea was specified by 8 people. This theme related to the idea that recognition should be for the group rather than themselves as individuals. Feels Good Ideas in this theme were listed by 8 individuals. This theme contains all ideas that the good feelings derived from volunteering is the only reward sought for the work36. - For example, “seeing the improvements is rewarding enough” (respondent 63), and “it's an award in itself” (respondent 119). Resource Concerns Three people cited this concern. 36 These do not include the good feelings derived from within and beyond-group support already categorized above. 166 Comments around concerns that the group did not have enough resources to provide thank you gifts to its volunteers and/or that the money would be better spent directly on the groups’ projects and programs made up this theme. 4.4.6 – RQ 6: Which Variables Detract from or Deter Participation? RQ 6.1: What Constraints Are There for Stewardship Volunteering? This question was broken down into four parts for analyses. The first gives an overview of the ratings that the respondents gave to the various constraint items listed on the survey. The second part looks at which constraints most deter volunteer retention and recruitment. Next, there is an investigation of possible relationships between the volunteer constraints and demographic variables. Finally, the fourth part reviews responses given to the question of additional constraints the volunteers might hold. Constraints Ratings The barriers to participation were measured in the same way as volunteers’ motivations; people were asked to give Likert-type ratings from 1 (‘not a constraint’) to 4 (‘strong constraint’) to note how well they felt each of the eleven constraint items corresponded to their own situation. Figure 4.11 shows the overall average ratings volunteers gave to the constraint items given on their participation. 167 Figure 4.11 Volunteers’ Mean Constraint Item Ratings 3.00 2.50 Mean Ratings 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 es En ou gh D on e R es ou c ro up G N o C om m G ro up N ot Ap pr ec ia te N ot As ke d D iff er en ce N o ec ia te un ity to N ot Ap pr R ea ch Si te s th D iff ic ul t Ph ys ic al H ea l ed G ro up D is or ga ni ze d In fo rm N ot To o Bu sy 0.00 Constraint Items As seen on the figure, the only constraint item of real note is ‘being busy and so not having enough time to volunteer’ (M = 2.53, SD = 1.03). Of the other ten constraint items, only two – ‘not being properly informed of events’ (M = 1.70, SD = 0.86) and ‘finding the group to be too disorganized’ (M = 1.51, SD = 0.86) scored higher than a mean of 1.5137. Constraint Factors Factor analyses were done on the responses to the 11 constraint items listed on the questionnaire. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was 0.77, which is acceptable. The eigenvalues suggested a possible three factors, but the scree plot (shown in Figure 4.12) and an examination of the rotated component 37 As for the motivational items, full wording may be found on survey question 10 (Appendix E). Some constraints also receive more descriptive wording as they are highlighted in the text below. 168 loadings clearly showed only two. These factors were labelled ‘Personal Perspective’ and ‘Practical Perspective.’ Figure 4.12 Scree Plot for Constraint Factor Analyses Table 4.14 shows the loadings and communalities for these factors, with the strongest loadings (which led to the naming of the factors) shaded on the table. Together, these two factors explain half of the constraint variance. 169 Table 4.14 Constraint Factor Loadings and Communalities Component Personal Practical Communality Constraint Perspective Perspective No Difference 0.86 0.73 Community Not Appreciate 0.79 0.72 Group Not Appreciate 0.76 0.32 0.66 Physical Health 0.76 0.58 Not Informed 0.73 0.56 Difficult to Reach Sites 0.69 0.52 Too Busy 0.61 0.41 Not Asked 0.33 0.54 0.48 Group Disorganized 0.36 0.43 0.66 No Group Resouces 0.75 Done Enough 0.69 Explanatory Value of Factor 36.22% 13.83% Note: Factor loadings < 0.20 were suppressed The Personal Perspective factor explains about 36.22% of the variance. The strongest loading items in this factor are those at the opposite end of the scale from the ideas found among the Personal Benefits motivations. That is: feeling that ‘one’s efforts are not making a difference’, feeling unappreciated by ‘the group’ (lowering group solidarity) and by ‘the larger community’, and being deterred by one’s ‘health/physical abilities’. In contrast, the Practical Perspective constraint factor contains items of a more practical nature that might prevent people from volunteering. Heavily loading items in this factor include: not ‘being properly informed of volunteer opportunities’, finding it ‘‘too difficult to reach the volunteer sites’, being ‘too busy to volunteer’, feeling ‘no one has asked one to participate’, thinking that the ‘group seems too disorganized. 170 The Practical Perspective constraint factor explains just over one third of the variance (13.83%) that is explained by the Personal Perspective factor. Two items, concerns that ‘the group does not have the resources to achieve its goals’ and feeling that one has ‘done enough for one’s community,’ did not load strongly on either of the two constraint factors. Constraints That Most Deter Volunteer Recruitment and Retention With a similar approach as taken for the motivations, this question is answered by examining how the constraint items and factors relate to different aspects of volunteer participation. First, potential correlations with tenure are investigated. This is followed by the findings for analyses for correlations between constraints and participation in the four activity categories. Finally, the relationships between constraints and commitment are discussed. Constraints and Tenure As seen on Table 4.15, four correlations were found with constraint items and one with the Practical Perspective constraint factor. Three of these relationships were negative, meaning that as tenure increased, the mean ratings for these items decreased. However, in two cases – feeling ‘unappreciated by the larger community’, and being deterred by ‘one’s physical health’ – the relationship was positive, showing that as tenure increased, so too did the mean ratings for these constraint items. 171 Table 4.15 Significant Constraints and Tenure Correlation Sig. Constraint Coefficient (1-tailed) Not Informed -0.48** 0.000 Difficult to Reach Sites -0.25** 0.006 Community Not Appreciate 0.18* 0.047 Physical Health 0.18* 0.049 Practical Perspective -0.39** 0.001 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). N 90 97 88 90 66 Constraints and Hands On Volunteering Table 4.16 shows the significant correlations found between the constraints and the frequency of participation and enjoyment ratings of Hands On activities, where the shaded areas were not statistically significant. Table 4.16 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Hands On Frequency and Enjoyment Constraint Too Busy Physical Health Difficult to Reach Sites No Difference Practical Perspective Correlation Coefficient -0.26* 0.22* Frequency Sig. (1-tailed) 0.012 0.034 N Correlation Coefficient 0.007 N 75 68 -0.26** -0.26** -0.34** Enjoyment Sig. (1tailed) 0.007 0.009 88 83 51 Different constraints were significant for the frequency of participation Hands On volunteering than for the enjoyment rating for that category. Additionally, all but one of the relationships are negative, showing that as the ratings for these constraints increased, numbers for these aspects of Hands On volunteering decreased. The only positive statistical relationship found suggests that as participants’ mean 172 frequency of participation in Hands On volunteering increased, their ratings for being constrained by their ‘physical health’ also increased38. Constraints and Administrative Volunteering Only three statistically significant relationships were found between constraints and either the frequency of participation in or enjoyment ratings for Administrative activities. The first is between frequency of participation in Administrative tasks and thinking the group ‘seems too disorganized’ (r = 0.33, p = 0.027, N = 34), where the positive relationship means that as ratings for this constraint increased, mean frequency of Administrative participation also increased. In contrast, feeling the group is ‘too disorganized’ showed a negative relationship with the overall mean Administrative enjoyment rating (r = -0.32, p = 0.023, N = 39), showing that as the ratings for this constraint increase, mean enjoyment ratings in this category decrease. The other two correlations also show negative relationships with the overall mean Administrative enjoyment rating. The two constraints here are: feeling ‘one’s efforts are not making a difference’ (r = -0.31, p = 0.024, N = 42), and that ‘one has done enough for one’s community’ (r = -0.29, p = 0.034, N = 40). 38 Due to the physically demanding nature of tasks in this category, perhaps in this case the more often people do Hands On activities, the more they feel their physical limitations. Another explanation might be that people are participating in Hands On work in order to improve their personal fitness. 173 Constraints and Outreach Volunteering While no correlations were found between any of the constraints and frequency of participation in Outreach activities, five were found with Outreach enjoyment ratings. These correlations are summarized on Table 4.17. A combination of both practical and personal deterrents can be seen on this table, where the strongest correlation is between feeling ‘one has done enough for one’s community’ and enjoyment ratings in this category. Table 4.17 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Outreach Enjoyment Correlation Sig. N Coefficient (1-tailed) Done Enough -0.60** 0.002 21 No Difference -0.56** 0.003 22 Difficult to Reach Sites -0.49** 0.009 23 Physical Health -0.46* 0.015 22 Group Not Appreciate -0.38* 0.037 19 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). Constraints and Commitment This section looks for correlations between constraints and the respondents’ priority ratings. Five correlations were found, which are summarized on Table 4.18. Table 4.18 Significant Correlations between Constraints and Priority Ratings Correlation Sig. Constraint Coefficient (1-tailed) Too Busy -0.31** 0.001 Difficult to Reach Sites -0.31** 0.001 Not Informed -0.26** 0.007 Practical Perspective -0.26* 0.017 Personal Perspective 0.26* 0.017 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). N 98 96 89 65 65 174 Three of the correlations are negative ones with constraint items, all of which are of a more practical nature. Not surprising then is the negative relationship that is also found with the Practical Perspective constraint factor. All of these relationships indicate that as the mean priority ratings increased, the ratings for these constraints decreased. In contrast, there was a positive correlation with the Personal Perspective factor. This is an interesting finding as it indicates that as the priority ratings given by the volunteers tended to increase, the ratings the volunteers gave to this set of constraint items also tended to increase. Constraints and Demographics As was done for the motivational analyses, regression analyses were done using the constraint items and factors as the dependent variables and the demographic variables as the regressors. Two results were found that would be of special interest to those looking to recruit volunteer support for their environmental organizations. Follow-up tests were done to confirm and clarify the results of the regression analyses. The first set of analyses examined the relationship between the constraint ‘not being asked to participate’ and ethnicity that was highlighted during the regression 175 analyses (R2adj = 0.44). The follow-up independent-samples t-tests39 showed that those of Asian backgrounds (M = 2.00, SD = 1.00) gave mean ratings to ‘not being asked’ that were nearly double those of respondents of European background (M = 1.18, SD = 0.50) [t(72) = 4.38, p = 0, α = 0.05], showing that those of Asian heritage generally felt more deterred by this constraint. In the second significant finding, age was the only consistent variable for the regression models with ‘not being properly informed of volunteer opportunities’. Spearman’s rho tests confirmed a negative relationship (r = -0.23, p = 0.02, N = 87), meaning that younger participants tended to rate this as a greater barrier than older participants. Additional Constraints for Stewardship Volunteering As discussed in the ‘other motivations’ section, space was also left for people to report constraints that they felt had been missed on the survey but which were important to them. Only eighteen individuals wrote in ‘other constraint’ responses, most of which overlapped with the Likert-type items listed in the constraints question, again suggesting that no major themes were omitted on the survey instrument. The unique items were as follows: 39 A one-way ANOVA with follow-up Tukey tests were attempted, but because there was only one response from the ‘other’ ethnicity category this was not possible. Instead, an independent-samples ttest was run for those of European and Asian heritage. 176 Other Commitments Constraints in this category were reported by 3 people. This grouping largely focussed on other community service participation. Practical Considerations Three people reported this type of constraint. This theme included: poor weather, workdays scheduled too early in the morning, and feelings of lacking skills to be able to contribute to the group. Group Dynamics and Power Struggles One individual listed this issue. Disliking One’s Community One individual cited this constraint. Lack of Government Support and Appreciation for the Group’s Work One individual raised this concern. 4.4.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Volunteering Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship? The responses and analyses for this research question are presented in the three following sections related to the follow-up research questions for the aspects of environmental citizenship measured in this study: emotional responses to the worksites, reactions to negative changes to the worksites, and environmentally friendly behaviours outside volunteering with the groups. RQ 7.1: Does Getting One’s Hands Dirty Help to Develop Emotional Responses to the Worksites? This research question has two follow-up questions dealing with the emotional responses that the Hands On volunteers gave to their worksites. The first (research 177 question 7.1a), looks at the ratings these volunteers give to the three potential emotional responses to their worksites: ownership, responsibility, and attachment. The second (research question 7.1b) analyses whether there are correlations between participation in Hands On volunteering and the emotional response ratings. Emotional Responses to Worksites by Hands On Volunteers Table 4.19 shows a summary of the mean ratings that the Hands On volunteers gave to each emotional response listed on the survey. The table shows that the average Hands On volunteer does have fairly strong emotional responses to her worksites in all three categories, with feelings of attachment being the strongest, ownership the weakest, and responsibility falling midway between the other two. Table 4.19 Mean Ratings for Hands On Volunteers’ Emotional Responses to the Worksites Std. Mean N Deviation Ownership 3.85 1.26 97 Responsibility 4.09 1.05 98 Attachment 4.28 0.94 98 Hands On Volunteering and the Development of Emotional Responses to the Worksites To answer this research question, Spearman’s rho analyses were done to investigate potential correlations between the mean ratings the Hands On volunteers gave to each of the three emotional responses and their reported frequency of participation in and enjoyment ratings in this activity category. Of course, only correlations, not cause and effects may be shown by these analyses. 178 However, correlations between these variables would at least suggest support for the theories about stewardship volunteering and environmental citizenship40. In a somewhat unexpected result, there were no significant correlations between any of the ratings given to the three emotional responses and the frequencies at which people reported participating in Hands On volunteering. In contrast, there were significant relationships between the ratings for all three emotional response and the enjoyment ratings given to the Hands On activities. These relationships are shown on Table 4.20. Table 4.20 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Emotional Response Ratings Correlation Sig. Emotional N Coefficient (1-tailed) Response 0.23* 0.012 97 Ownership 0.32** 0.001 98 Responsibility 0.23* 0.012 98 Attachment *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). RQ 7.2 – Does Hands On Volunteering Lead to the Development of a ‘Constituency for Nature’? This research question is also broken into two parts. Research question 7.2a reviews the ratings that the volunteers gave to the potential reactions to a negative change to their worksites that were listed on the questionnaire. Research question 7.2b then examines correlations between these ratings and Hands On volunteering. 40 This statement is also true for the correlational analyses done for the next two ‘environmental citizenship’ questions. This issue is addressed more fully in the next chapter. 179 Hands On Volunteering and Reactions to Negative Changes to The Worksites Table 4.21 summarizes the mean ratings given by the volunteers to each possible reaction. Note that for the first set of reactions (those above the grey line), higher ratings would indicate stronger supportive reactions for the worksites. The second set shows ‘reverse coded’ reactions, or those reactions where higher ratings would be less supportive of the worksites, e.g. higher ratings for finding a ‘new place to volunteer’ would indicate a greater willingness to leave the volunteer worksite in favour of another in the face of a negative change to the original worksite. Table 4.21 Mean Hands On Volunteer Ratings for Reactions to Negative Worksite Changes Std. Mean N Reactions Deviation Protect Remainder 3.74 0.59 Personal Loss 3.63 0.67 Contact Politicians 3.42 0.84 Encourage Neighbours 3.27 0.82 Contact Media 3.22 0.89 Negative Life Impacted 2.98 0.89 New Place to Visit 2.03 1.05 New Place to Volunteer 1.98 1.05 Stop Visiting There 1.54 0.85 Stop Volunteering There 1.40 0.72 104 104 101 101 102 99 99 96 99 97 As seen on the table, the volunteers show the strongest willingness to ‘work to protect the remainder of the sites’ and to ‘feeling a sense of personal loss’ in reaction to negative changes to their worksites. Lower ratings were given to the reactions of contacting ‘politicians’ and ‘the media’ about the changes, and to ‘encouraging one’s neighbours to help oppose the change’. Feeling that ‘one’s life 180 would be negatively impacted’ received the lowest ratings in the first set of reactions. Among the reverse coded responses, the volunteers showed little willingness to stop volunteering at or to stop visiting their sites. However, slightly greater willingness was shown both to ‘finding a new place to visit’ and to ‘finding a new place to volunteer’ in the face of negative worksite changes. Hands On Volunteering and Willingness to ‘Fight for’ One’s Worksites Spearman’s rho tests were done to examine potential correlations between the potential actions to negative worksite changes and both the frequency of participation in and enjoyment ratings for Hands On volunteering. Reflective of the findings for the data for the emotional responses above, no correlations were found between the frequency of participation in Hands On activities and any of the potential reactions to negative changes to the worksites. Once again however, the Hands On enjoyment ratings do show several significant correlations with the environmental citizenship variables. These correlations are shown on Table 4.22. Though none of the reverse coded items were correlated with the mean Hands On enjoyment ratings, only one item from the first set of reactions - feeling a ‘sense of personal loss’ - did not have a significant correlation with the Hands On enjoyment ratings. The strongest correlations were between the 181 Hands On enjoyment ratings and ‘working to protect the remainder of the site’ and ‘contacting the media about the issue’. Table 4.22 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Reactions to Negative Change Correlation Sig. N Reactions Coefficient (1-tailed) Negative Life Impacted 0.30** 0.002 88 Protect Remainder 0.32** 0.001 92 Contact Politicians 0.25** 0.008 90 Contact Media 0.32** 0.001 91 Encourage Neighbours 0.26** 0.007 91 *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). RQ 7.3 - Does Hands on Volunteering Correlate to Other Environmental Behaviours? Three follow-up research questions respond to research question 7.3. Research question 7.3a gives an overview of the frequencies at which the Hands On volunteers do the other environmentally friendly behaviours listed on the survey instrument. Research question 7.3b discusses how these variables relate to Hands On volunteer work, and 7.3c examines the question of how people rated their own environmentalism. Other Environmentally Friendly Behaviours Done by Hands On Volunteers Table 4.23 shows the mean frequency ratings for each listed environmentally friendly behaviour from the Hands On volunteers. The table also shows the overall ‘environmentally friendly mean’ for these volunteers. This number came from the individual environmentally friendly means that were calculated for each Hands On 182 respondent using the ratings that each of these respondents gave to the listed behaviours. As the table shows, these volunteers, on average, most frequently ‘avoid littering’ and ‘recycle at home’ while they ‘write about environmental issues’ to ‘newspapers’ and to ‘politicians’ least frequently. The environmentally friendly mean shows an overall mid-to-high-level participation of 2.78 of 5.00 by the Hands On volunteers in other environmentally friendly behaviours. Table 4.23 Frequency of Environmentally Friendly Behaviours by Hands On Volunteers Std. Mean N Behaviours Deviation No Littering 3.91 0.38 99 Recycle - Home 3.81 0.51 99 Turn Out Lights 3.58 0.62 99 Recycle - Work 3.56 0.72 61 Turn Down Thermostat 3.54 0.83 92 Talk to Friends 3.08 0.87 98 Less Packaging 2.91 0.80 94 Cleaning Products 2.84 0.86 96 Transportation 2.80 0.84 97 Locally Grown 2.79 0.68 95 Own Shopping Bags 2.75 1.16 96 Sign Petitions 2.72 0.98 96 Avoid Polluters 2.52 0.78 89 Organic 2.48 0.82 97 Composts 2.46 1.31 94 Donate Money 2.36 0.87 96 Join Protests 1.78 0.95 95 Write to Politicians 1.70 0.89 97 Write to Newspapers 1.50 0.77 96 Environmentally Friendly Mean 2.78 0.49 99 183 Correlations between Hands On Volunteering and Other Environmental Actions In the same pattern seen for the other environmental citizenship questions, all of the significant correlations were found only with the Hands On enjoyment ratings – no significant correlations were found with the frequency of participation in Hands On work. Table 4.24 shows the significant correlations that were found between the ratings for the listed environmentally friendly behaviours and Hands On enjoyment ratings. Table 4.24 Significant Correlations between Hands On Enjoyment and Environmentally Friendly Behaviours Sig. Correlation N Behaviours Coefficient (1-tailed) Locally Grown 0.35** 0.000 95 Less Packaging 0.34** 0.000 94 Talk to Friends 0.31** 0.001 98 Write to Newspapers 0.26** 0.005 96 Join Protests 0.26** 0.005 95 Donate Money 0.24* 0.010 96 Sign Petitions 0.23* 0.011 96 Recycle - Home 0.20* 0.025 99 Own Shopping Bags 0.20* 0.023 96 Cleaning Products 0.19* 0.031 96 Write to Politicians 0.19* 0.031 97 Organic 0.17* 0.046 97 Environmentally 0.32** 0.001 99 Friendly Mean **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (1-tailed). *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed). From the table we can see that the strongest correlations were between Hands On enjoyment ratings and buying ‘locally grown products’ and those with ‘less packaging’, and with ‘talking to friends about environmental issues’. The weakest correlations were with ‘using environmentally friendly cleaning products’, ‘writing to politicians about environmental issues’ and ‘buying organic products’. A correlation 184 was also found between Hands On enjoyment ratings and the overall environmentally friendly mean. Hands On Volunteers Environmentalism Ratings The survey included a question asking people to rate their own level of environmental activity as compared to ‘the general population’ where 1 meant ‘much less environmentally active’ and 5 meant ‘much more environmentally active’. These volunteers gave themselves a mean rating of 4.15 (SD = 0.81, N = 96) on this question. These volunteers seem to have a good sense of their own environmentalism, as a significant correlation was found between the comparative environmental ratings that they gave themselves and the environmentally friendly means calculated for them (r = 0.46, p = 0.000, N = 96). 4.5 – A Brief Recap and a Look Ahead In this chapter, we reviewed the data collected from the survey instrument as they applied to the research questions. Generally, the analyses show that people of a wide variety of backgrounds are involved in stewardship volunteering in Metro Vancouver. These volunteers are involved in all areas of their groups’ functioning. Further, they tend to show high levels of commitment to their groups, with each organization 185 involved in the study having a ‘core group’ of volunteers that often take on more tasks than the average participant in their groups. The data also show that while many variables affect participation, people seem to most value and be most strongly motivated by intangible rewards, like knowing that they have helped nature, feeling a sense of group solidarity, and having opportunities to improve personal welfare and learn new things. Similarly, the lack of these intangible rewards and opportunities can hinder participation in this type of volunteering. Finally, when looking at theories relating Hands On stewardship work to other aspects of environmental citizenship, the data show that it might not be enough to just get people involved in this type of volunteerism. The participants must also enjoy their volunteer experiences for the development of environmental citizenship to occur. Among other things, the next chapter interprets the data and analyses as they apply to the research questions. Chapter 5 also makes recommendations based on the findings of this study for stewardship group coordinators, volunteers, and beyondgroup supporters on ways to foster this type of volunteerism in local communities. 186 5 – DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 – Chapter 5 Outline This chapter begins with Section 5.2, which gives an interpretation of how the results respond to the research questions as well as how the findings relate to those from the literature. After the data interpretation discussions, there are three sections that make recommendations based on the findings of the study. The first, Section 5.3, makes recommendations to stewardship group coordinators. Next, Section 5.4 outlines recommendations to for beyond-group supporters, like governmental agencies and umbrella groups. Finally, Section 5.5 gives suggestions to the stewardship volunteers themselves. Section 5.6 outlines the limitations of the study. The study limitations are followed by Section 5.7, which presents ‘serendipitous’ findings and ideas, or those that came out of the research, but were not a direct result of the methodology used. Suggestions for future research comprise Section 5.8, while Section 5.9 gives the ‘Final Word’ concluding both the chapter and the dissertation. 187 5.2 – Responding to the Research Questions 5.2.1 – RQ 1: What Variables Characterize a ‘Typical’ Stewardship Volunteer? The findings from the demographics questions in this study indicate that there are few characteristics that typify a person who is most likely to be a stewardship volunteer. People of all ages, employment backgrounds, incomes, genders, and types of families are counted among the volunteers in this study. However, there were a few exceptions. One variable that was found consistently among the volunteers in this study is reflective of the findings of other literature on environmental volunteers (e.g. Bell, 2003; Bradford and Israel, 2004; Schrock et al., 2000a; Tindall, 2002). That is, there are generally high levels of education among the volunteers. In this study, the majority of the volunteers had completed high school, with just over three quarters having also completed at least some post secondary education. Another set of findings that have some support from the literature is the tendency of the volunteers in this study (excluding the ‘commuter group’) to volunteer fairly close to home. In this study, participants tended to stay within their home municipalities and travel less than 10 km to reach their worksites. These findings reflect other studies where volunteers tended to stay within 5 miles (approximately 8 km) to volunteer (Ryan et al., 2001) and to remain in their home city to volunteer, this time travelling less than 1 km to their worksites (Donald, 1997). 188 Conversely, the findings from the data on the level of involvement in other community service organizations (both environmental and non-environmental) by the participants in this study are only loosely related to predictions from the literature. Other studies of community service volunteers suggest that those who are highly involved in one area of volunteerism are usually highly involved in other areas of community service (e.g. Baum et al., 1999; Hall et al., 2001 11; Reed and Selbee, 2000, 1). In the study at hand, about 60% of the respondents were involved in other environmental organizations, and only about half of them were members of other non-environmental community service organizations. The mean activity levels for participation in other organizations were mid-level numbers of 2.72 and 3.38 (both of 5.00) respectively. One final demographic characteristic was highlighted in the study data, that of ethnicity, where little diversity was found among the survey respondents. In this study, the majority of the volunteers (79%) identified themselves of European backgrounds, with the next largest group being those of Chinese heritage (14%). These numbers are roughly parallel with the demographics for Metro Vancouver. However, this study shows an over-representation of those of European heritage and an under-representation of those of Chinese backgrounds, who comprise about 58% and 18% of the population of the region, respectively (Statistics Canada, 2010). In fact, the lack of ethnic diversity among the study respondents is somewhat reflective of the general population of Metro Vancouver, where the next largest visible minority, South Asian, makes about 10% of the population, and the 189 other ten groups identified make up less than 5% of the population each, with three of these less than 1% each (Statistics Canada, 2010). 5.2.2 – RQ 2: How Are the Volunteers Involved in Their Groups’ Activities? Overall, the data show that the participants in this study are active in all aspects of the functioning of their groups, and have been so for an average of nearly four years. From direct involvement in the natural environment with Hands On activities and educating others with Outreach activities to the ‘behind the scenes’ Administrative work and the more tangentially related Other activities, respondents in this survey undertake the full range of activities that might be done by a stewardship volunteer. The data also show that the Hands On work is by far the most popular type of volunteering among these volunteers. This activity category also had the highest overall mean frequency of participation and the highest overall mean enjoyment rating. The other activity categories show less consistent results. Notably, Administrative duties are performed at relatively high frequency, but by relatively few people and at the lowest of the overall mean enjoyments. The results also indicate that participation is largely unaffected by demographic variables, except that having children at home and being of female gender may act as a negative influence in some cases. 190 5.2.3 – RQ 3: Are There Additional Activities the Volunteers Would Like to Do? Perhaps of some relief to the coordinators, most of the volunteers listed activities already being done by their groups. The response fell into every activity category, while the largest grouping of suggestions for additional activities fell into the Hands On category. Despite the popularity of the hands on work among the respondents, many of them also recognized the need to expand the work of their groups beyond ‘just’ the onthe-ground hands on work that they do. A number of the respondents expressed interest in undertaking activities that would better enable their groups to prioritize and focus their energies, including monitoring and assessing sites and becoming involved in planning processes using this data. Additionally, many of the respondents saw the value in gaining allies in their work. Messaging and other activities to gain more support from the public as whole and local communities in particular was a common theme. Building alliances and collaborations (even if just for moral support and idea sharing) with comparable organizations and bringing relevant governmental agencies and personnel more strongly in support of the groups’ efforts were also viewed as important by these respondents. 191 Several of the participants specified additional activities that would bring them personal benefits. Learning activities, including walks and workshops with ‘experts’ on particular topics were popular among these respondents, as was the informal gaining of skills through being actively taught more about the activities and their relevance during volunteer workdays. These learning opportunities were desired both for their inherent value and so that people could better contribute to their groups. Other benefits listed involved increasing participation with the groups while also pursing personal welfare activities through volunteering. In some cases, this involved undertaking a hobby, like photography, while doing an activity. In others, this involved having space to spend time with one’s fellow volunteers and/or to be in contact with the natural environment around the work. 5.2.4 – RQ 4: What Level of Commitment Do the Volunteers Have for Their Work? The commitment shown by the volunteers in this study is fairly high on all three measures of this variable: priority ratings, rates of participation, and whether or not participation depends on the type of activity being done. The overall mean priority rating by these volunteers was 3.96 (of 5.00), which shows high levels of dedication. In fact, only 4 individuals gave a priority rating of 1.00, while 44 gave the highest rating of 5.00. 192 Rates of participation did not seem to be dependent on the volunteers merely choosing those opportunities they found most enjoyable. In fact, in two of the activity categories - Hands On and Outreach - the enjoyment ratings were not statistically correlated to frequency of participation, while the enjoyment ratings showed a negative correlation for frequency of participation in Administrative volunteering. Based on these findings, participation seems more dependent upon the needs and opportunities of the groups rather than relying wholly on volunteer preference. For example, workdays are offered once or twice each month by most of the groups in this study.41 Hands On activities like workdays, invasive plant removals, clean-ups, site preparation, and gardening all have mean frequencies of participation between 12 and 19 times each year, which is generally reflective of the number of workdays that the majority of the groups hold each year. These workdays are also generally held by all but one of the groups on a drop-in basis, with anyone from the public welcome, making these activities very popular among the respondents (the exception requires that volunteers first undergo training and orientation before joining its workdays). Conversely, some Administrative activities, like managing funds or gaining permissions for the work, are usually done on a set schedule, with dates dependent on the funding and planning cycles of the supporting agencies. However, the somewhat high frequency of funding work (26 times/year) also reflects the ongoing 41 Three of the groups offer workday opportunities more frequently, from weekly to twice weekly. A fourth group hosts fewer general workdays, at about three to four each year. 193 need to seek out new funding sources, as well as the ongoing need to manage and report on funds received. Additionally, the Administrative activities are generally limited to a small number of volunteers in the group who have the authority to deal with these concerns. Not surprisingly then, many of these activities were reported by very few people and at frequencies that reflect the time that it takes to complete them. It Needs to Be Done The Administrative activities in general showed a negative correlation between the frequency of participation and the enjoyment ratings given to them. Although a cause and effect relationship cannot be shown, it is more logical to think that ‘the more people do Administrative tasks, the less they enjoy them’ than ‘the more the respondents enjoy Administrative tasks, the less often they volunteer for this work’. For this activity category, it is thought that the most likely explanation for the negative correlation between frequency and enjoyment is that people undertake the Administrative activities with the spirit that ‘it needs to be done’, even if they do not particularly enjoy doing this work. Informal discussions with volunteers during the research period as well as feedback from the coordinators during the interviews suggest this, to some extent, might be true. Additional support for this idea is also shown in the correlations with the constraint the ‘group is too disorganized’, which is positively correlated with the frequency of participation in Administrative activities, but negatively so with the enjoyment ratings for this category. This contradiction 194 suggests an interpretation that those who find the group to be disorganized step in and take on Administrative tasks to help alleviate the situation, even though this decreases their enjoyment of the work. The Core is Key While the average volunteer in this study shows a lot of commitment to her group, each group also has a smaller subset of ‘core volunteers’ who show especially high levels of participation across the different activities offered by their groups. These are key people that the coordinators most rely upon to help out, even when the tasks at hand are not particularly popular or enjoyable to their memberships as a whole. Finding a subgroup of volunteers who are especially dedicated to their groups is not unusual for volunteer groups. In Canada, for example, “a small minority of volunteers account for the bulk of volunteer hours” with the top ten percent of Canadian volunteers contributing 52% of the total volunteer hours (Hall et al., 2009). A recent survey of BC volunteers confirmed that it is only a small number of people who volunteer most frequently with their groups (Hawkes, 2007). Volunteers within environmental groups also tend to show different levels of participation, where small, core groups of people contribute the greatest number of hours (e.g. BC MOE, 2007; Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 104; Finch, 1997; 375; Rohs and Westerfield, 1996, 282; Schrock et. al., 2000b, 375). Because of their 195 high levels of activity within their groups, these ‘core’ volunteers may even be called ‘All-Stars’ of the group (Roggenbuck et al., 2001, 55; Haas, 2000, 48). Although the contributions of these core groups of especially active volunteers are great, caution is also needed against relying too heavily on too small a number of volunteers, as higher levels of responsibility and activity can also lead to the highest levels of burnout (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 323). Although one interview brought out the concern that the coordinator had “no idea” what motivated the volunteers from that group, other interviews showed a great deal of overlap with the survey findings, as well as adding some new ideas. Four of the other interviewees correctly noted motivations of seeing tangible results and feeling a sense of achievement. Additionally, most indicated that they felt this motivation was tied to the altruistic one of ‘helping nature’, a conclusion consistent with the study results. One coordinator also noted that people do this volunteering because it is ‘really fun’, and because people like being active – again, motivations found often in the participant surveys. However, there was also a minor disconnect. Social variables among the interviewees tended to focus on ‘making friends’, which is not to be neglected as a reason to volunteer, but as discussed in this survey, being ‘part of a team’ was more important in relation to the frequencies at which people participate and the enjoyment they have in doing the various volunteer activities. 196 5.2.5 – RQ 5: Which Variables Encourage and Enhance Volunteer Participation? In the presentation of the results, this research question was broken down into smaller questions that related to those on the survey instrument. In this chapter, this research question is dealt with in sections based on the main points that can be drawn from the results. Stewardship Volunteers Really Are Exceptional The volunteer motivational ratings given in this study show that, in general, stewardship volunteers are not motivated by the same types of things as volunteers found in community service settings. With the exception of Administrative volunteering, the correlational analyses between frequency of participation and enjoyment ratings also tended to confirm that environmental volunteers have different motivations than are found in more general volunteering settings. Given the nature of tasks found in the Administrative category however, it is not surprising that it relates more to volunteering in a community service context. Similarly, it is not unexpected that the Hands On volunteering analyses were most reflective of the environmental volunteering literature while having little relationship to the community service literature. The Outreach category showed more mixed results between the two sets of volunteering literature (community service and environmental). 197 Arguably, a few other items in the VFI and/or VMI models relate to some of the motivations found to be important in this study. For example, study participants emphasized some aspects of the social and social interaction functions. But even when related to the standard reasons highlighted for general volunteerism, the motivations and benefits of most importance to the volunteers in this study often resulted in different interpretations than those found in the general volunteering literature. These unique interpretations are discussed in more detail in later sections. For example, in the community service literature socialization was considered an important factor for other volunteers (e.g. Independent Sector, 2002; Janoski and Wilson, 1995), while the volunteers in this study generally gave low ratings to ‘being taught to volunteer as a child’. In another example, being encouraged by family and/or friends to participate was seen to play a large role in motivating people’s involvement in other types of volunteering (e.g. Hall et al., 2009; Sokolowski, 1996; U.S. Bureau, 2004). However, this motivational item received very low scores among the stewardship respondents in the current research (M = 1.83, SD = 1.12, N = 69). Moreover, ‘being encouraged by one’s family/friends to volunteer’ actually showed a negative correlation with Hands On enjoyment ratings, and a negative loading on the Ethical Well-Being motivational factor. 198 In contrast, feelings of camaraderie and teamwork were highlighted as important motivators in this study, while this social dimension of volunteering was not reported in the community service literature (see below for more details on the social dimensions of volunteering found in this study). In fact, of the ten items found in either the Volunteer Function Inventory (see, for example, Clary et al., 1999) or the Volunteer Motivation Index (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004)42 (or both), only one has a somewhat direct relationship to those motivations and benefits that were common among the stewardship volunteers in this study: This function, found in both the VFI and VMI, is ‘understanding’, which is related to ‘learning new things’, ‘using existing skills’ and ‘learning for learning’s sake’ through volunteering (e.g. Clary et al., 1998, 1518; Clary et al., 1992, 337; Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 8). Recall from the literature review in Chapter 2 however, that this function (called ‘learning and skills’ in the current study) was also featured in the environmental literature as a reason for volunteering. While not generally motivated by items found in the community service literature, the volunteers in this study did have a consistent set of motivations for their participation. Specifically, respondents in this study placed emphases on a set of ‘big four’ motivators: i) making a difference, ii) group solidarity, iii) personal welfare, and iv) learning and skills. Additionally, all of these ‘big four’ motivators were highlighted in the literature focussed on participants in the environmental 42 Recall that a summary of these two inventories is found on Table 2.1, page 34. 199 movement, although the social aspects, like those for the VFI/VMI, were expressed differently between the literature and the responses in this study. The following four parts of the dissertation look specifically at how the ‘big four’ motivators from the environmental literature relate to the findings from the study at hand. It Is Not Enough to ‘Just’ Help Nature The wish to do altruistic things fits with the VFI and VMI values motivation, but environmental volunteers generally express this motivation in terms of helping ‘the environment’ instead of ‘helping others’. Ideas related to helping, protecting, or caring for nature were important motivators for volunteers in virtually every environmental study reviewed (e.g. BC MOE, 2007; Justice 2007, 37; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 13; Peers, 2007, 119)43. In the current research, the altruistic motivation of ‘helping nature’ received the highest mean score of the Likert-type motivational ratings (M = 3.91, SD = 0.35, N = 109). Moreover, ideas around helping nature were the most commonly cited among the volunteers’ greatest satisfactions or rewards. Conversely, in this study the wish to ‘help the natural environment’ was not related to any of the participation variables (tenure, commitment, enjoyment or frequency), except the Outreach enjoyment 43 To avoid tremendously long lists of citations in this part of the dissertation at times when numerous studies could be cited, only the most relevant and/or most recent are included in this chapter. The full lists of relevant studies may be found in the related sections in Chapter 2. Recall that the ‘big four’ motivators that were found in the environmental participation research reviewed are also summarized on Table 2.2 (pages 59-63) for many of the environmental volunteer motivational studies reviewed. 200 ratings. Theses findings show that while people are motivated by and place value on opportunities to ‘help nature’, this reason alone does not seem to be enough to generate sustainable support for stewardship volunteering. In Chapter 2, we learned that feeling a sense of accomplishment through seeing the tangible results of one’s efforts is often important to hands on environmental volunteers (e.g. Gooch 2004, 15; Grese et al., 2000; Justice, 2007, 37; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 16; Ryan et al., 2001). When looking more carefully at the data from the study at hand, it seems that it is more likely that here too people are motivated by the knowledge that they are truly ‘making a difference’ in helping the natural environment. Motivational items in this theme: finding the work to be ‘worthwhile’ and ‘rewarding’ and taking ‘a sense of accomplishment’ from it received high scores among the motivation items, where all were in the top five highest mean motivational ratings for the study participants. Additionally, the motivational items feeling ‘a sense of accomplishment’ and finding the work ‘rewarding’ shared the fourth strongest loadings in the Personal Well-Being motivational factor, which had the stronger explanatory value of the two factors derived from this data. Finally, ‘making a difference’ motivational items were correlated (in some combination) with group tenure, as well as both the frequency of participation in and enjoyment rating for the Hands On category. 201 One interesting finding was that the motivational item of finding the work to be ‘worthwhile’ was negatively correlated with frequency of participation in Outreach volunteering. This result suggests that, on average, the more often people volunteer in Outreach activities, the lower the ratings they gave to this motivation. Although cause and effect relationships cannot be shown in this research, some ideas are raised on factors that might have led to this result. To begin, Outreach activities tend to not have a direct impact on the natural environment. Also, these activities are often labour intensive, without any guarantees that one’s efforts will be well received. For example, a lot of time may be spent creating and distributing materials like newsletters without ever knowing how many people are reading these materials. Similarly, organizing an event is a tremendously involved undertaking, but attendance at events is difficult to predict ahead of time and can be affected by uncontrollable factors like weather. Further, even when there is an ‘audience’ for the Outreach efforts, it is often difficult to know if the ‘take away message’ was received by that audience. If these speculations are correct, then one could see how people might question whether their efforts are worthwhile. Another area that highlights the emphasis that the survey respondents placed on making a difference was in their self-reported responses to the ‘greatest satisfaction’ question. As discussed in the results, the main theme for the responses to this question was composed of comments related to helping the natural environment. The dominant ideas within this theme were: the ability to see a difference from one’s 202 participants, to notice tangible results, and to feel a sense of accomplishment from one’s efforts. These findings further support the idea that while people want to help the natural environment, this motivation is not enough for sustained participation. Stewardship volunteers must also know they are helping by seeing how the results of their efforts contribute to supporting healthy local ecosystems. Fortunately, seeing the tangible results of one’s work is an inherent part of many stewardship activities, particularly those in the Hands On activity category. Social Functions with a Difference As discussed above, some of the social functions that commonly motivate people to volunteer in other contexts are not strong motivators among the stewardship volunteers in this study. Namely, the community service literature indicated volunteers may be motivated by ‘impressing important others’ (e.g. Scheier, 1980, 9; Sokolowski, 1996, 274), ‘being encouraged by family and friends to join,’ (e.g. Hall et al., 2009, 48; Sokolowski, 1996) or ‘having been socialized to volunteer at a younger age’ (e.g. Janoski et al., 1998; Janoski and Wilson, 1995, 285; Reed and Selbee 2000, 14). In contrast, the volunteers in the current study tended to give low ratings to these motivational items. The final aspect of the social function found in the literature – meeting people and making friends – overlapped with the environmental literature, where it received 203 mixed emphases, but was important in some studies (e.g. Christie 2004, 5; Gooch, 2005, 18; Haas, 2000, 35; Peers, 2007, 119; Schroeder, 2000, 255.). In the current research, meeting people and making friends also received mixed results. Here, ‘meeting new people’ received a mean rating of 3.20 (SD = 0.88, N = 109), giving it a mid-range placement of tenth of the eighteen motivational items. Still, this motivational item did show correlations with the volunteers’ mean priority and Hands On enjoyment ratings. An aspect of the social function that is not discussed in the more mainstream volunteering literature is that of group solidarity. Group solidarity includes all ideas around teamwork, being with like-minded others, and participating together to achieve a common goal. This aspect of the social function was highlighted in some environmental volunteering studies (e.g. Gooch 2004, 206; Gooch, 2005, 18; Justice, 2007, 40; Schroeder, 2000, 256). Ideas related to group solidarity also acted as important motivators for the volunteers in this study. In fact, the emphasis on group solidarity was seen in many areas of the results. Group solidarity came out, in part, through the motivational mean ratings, which placed ‘being part of a volunteer team’ seventh of the eighteen motivational items (M = 3.39, SD = 0.75, N = 108). It should be noted however, that while in seventh 204 place, ‘teamwork’ was the first item after those related to altruism (‘help nature’, ‘help future generations’, and ‘contribute to one’s community’) and those related to making a difference (the work is ‘worthwhile’ and ‘rewarding’ and ‘feeling a sense of accomplishment’). In addition, teamwork was the third highest loading item within the Personal Well-Being motivational factor. Finally, this motivation was correlated with four participation variables, which were the frequency of participation in Administrative volunteering and that in Hands On volunteering, the volunteer priority ratings, and the volunteer ratings for Hands On enjoyment. Moreover, ideas related to ‘liking the group’, including enjoying working with one’s fellow volunteers and appreciating the efforts of the group’s coordinator, comprised the second most commonly reported theme in the question asking respondents about additional motivations they have for their volunteering (beyond those listed in the Likert-type question). Building on the findings from the motivational questions, the responses to the question on the greatest reward or satisfaction that the volunteers take from their work provide additional support for the importance of group solidarity among these volunteers. Here, the social aspects of the volunteering made up the second largest theme of responses. While this theme did include networking and making friends, this was not the main idea within the theme. Rather, aspects of group solidarity, like camaraderie, teamwork, and working with like-minded others comprised the most common responses in the social theme. 205 Aspects of group solidarity were also shown in the ‘how to thank’ responses. Here, within-group support came a close third among the 11 themes coded for this question. Within this theme are ideas of receiving positive reinforcement and feedback from the other members of one’s groups – gestures that not only show appreciation for volunteer efforts, but which also build a sense of group cohesiveness and belonging. Further, within the second place theme, ‘tokens’, just over half of the suggestions made for tangible gifts involved items like T-shirts, pins, and hats that relate to visible identification as a member of the team. Finally, eight people specified that any thanks received should be for the group as a whole rather than themselves as individuals. From these results, we can determine that the social aspects of volunteering are important to these participants. However, just meeting people and making friends is the not only, or even most important, social aspect of volunteering for the study participants. Finding a sense of belonging and membership within a team of people with shared ideals and with common values and goals is the stronger motivating social factor in this research. The Therapeutic Value of Stewardship The last theme that came up often among the motivations and benefits valued by the volunteers was one of personal welfare. This theme relates to the good feelings that people derive from their volunteering. It would roughly relate in part to the 206 VFI/VMI of Enhancement or Self-Esteem, and in part to the Protective/Reactive VFI/VMI category. However, as seen with the social function, the stewardship volunteers in this study show a unique interpretation of this set of motivations and benefits. That is, rather than focussing on psychological growth and development or reducing bad feelings (though these ideas do play a minor role the theme here), the respondents in this study tended to stress the positive factors related to the pleasure taken from doing this type of work. A number of studies reviewed in Chapter 2 highlighted the unique benefits that may be derived through contact with nature while participating in environmental volunteering. Recall that participants in the literature reviewed found environmental volunteering to be enjoyable (Austin, 2002, 182; Christie, 2004, 5; Haas, 2000, 36; Roggenbuck et al., 2000, 710). The literature also indicated that people are motivated in this type of volunteering because it affords opportunities to derive physical health benefits (BC MOE, 2007; King and Lynch, 1998, 8; Peers, 2007, 123), as well as to reflect in or interact with the environment (Grese et al., 2000, 271; Haas, 2000, 36; Peers, 2007, 120), and to develop stronger bonds with nature (Fisk, 1995, 69; Haas, 2000, 36). Not all of these aspects of connecting with the natural environment were measured specifically in this dissertation. Still, various aspects of the enjoyment of this type of volunteering were addressed. One way this was done was through the enjoyment ratings of the different activity categories, where Hands On activities received the 207 highest mean scores, and Administrative tasks the lowest, but where all categories scored fairly well for enjoyment overall. Ideas about the pleasure people may derive from this type of volunteering were also found in the results related to the Likert-type motivational items on the survey and to open-ended questions on the survey. Looking at the motivational ratings does not immediately show the strength of these motivations, as finding the work to be ‘recreational’ (M = 3.23, SD = 0.87, N = 111) and ‘relaxing’ (M = 3.15, SD = 0.98, N = 106), and having ‘played in nature as a child’ (M = 3.11, SD = 1.20, N = 105) placed only ninth, eleventh and twelfth respectively of the 18 motivational items. However, recall that ‘relaxing’ and ‘recreational’ were by far the two strongest loading motivational items in the Personal Well-Being motivational factor, with ‘having played in nature as a child’ tied for sixth within this factor. Besides, these personal welfare motivations were correlated (in some combination) to a number of participation variables: group tenure, frequency of participation in Hands On activities and the enjoyment ratings for both Hands On and Outreach volunteering. The volunteers’ responses to their greatest satisfaction or rewards bring out the personal welfare theme more strongly. Comments related to personal welfare fell into the third largest theme – ‘Good Feelings’. While this theme did contain a small number (about five) of the comments specifically related to psychological benefits, like reducing stress, or finding an outlet for anger, the majority of the psychological benefits derived by the survey respondents centred on other ideas. These other 208 ideas were related to the fun and pleasure people found in the work and to the benefits that come from having opportunities to be in contact with nature. Additional support for the role of personal welfare items in the stewardship volunteering process comes from three other open-ended questions. The first is the question asking about ‘additional activities’ people would like to do with their groups, where 13 respondents listed personal welfare activities of pursuing hobbies or having more time to enjoy time in nature and/or with one’s fellow volunteers. The second comes from the 8 individuals who listed good feelings as an appropriate thank you for their work. Despite being listed by only 8 respondents, this type of response on the ‘how to thank’ question was still pertinent because it is a somewhat abstract concept in response to the question. Finally, of the responses to the ‘additional’ motivations people have for their volunteering, 14 respondents reported ideas related to personal welfare items, like enjoying the work, making this the most commonly cited theme for this question. Discovering More about How the World Works – Literally The last theme that was found commonly among the volunteers in this study was also the one that relates most-closely to the VFI/VMI ‘understanding’ theme, although the ‘learning’ aspects of this function had greater weight than that of ‘using existing skills’. This theme of ‘learning and skills’ was also one that was predicted by the environmental volunteering literature, where learning about the environment, specific habitats and wildlife species, and techniques to help nature were 209 particularly valued by the volunteers (e.g. Bell, 2003, 26; Bradford and Israel, 2004, 3; Christie, 2004, 5; Gooch, 2005; Measham and Barnett, 2007, 15; Peers, 2007). Similar to the findings for ‘personal welfare’, the importance of ‘learning and skills’ is not immediately apparent when looking at the results for the current study. ‘Learning new things’ (M = 3.38, SD = 0.73, N = 109) received the eighth highest mean ratings of the motivational items, falling about one hundredth of a point behind ‘teamwork’. Although ‘learning new things’ did not load heavily on either motivational factor, this motivational item was correlated with four participation variables: the volunteers’ priority ratings, their enjoyment ratings for the Outreach category and for the Hands On category, and the frequency of participation in Hands On activities. The Skills theme in the responses to the ‘greatest satisfaction’ question contained 19 comments, of which 17 were related to the acquiring of new knowledge and skills through volunteering. In this open-ended question, volunteers listed a number of different areas where they enjoyed gaining knowledge and skills. These included: skills related to the tasks, information about specific species of plants and wildlife, information about things that harm the environment (e.g. invasive plants), and finding out more generally about the habitats and ecosystems in their communities. Sharing What You’ve Learned Although the motivation of ‘teaching others’ was not commonly found among the general volunteering literature, it was a volunteer function that was found often in 210 studies related to participation in the environmental movement. Despite not being a specific motivational item on the survey, this volunteer function also came out in a small way in the study at hand. The first indication that people enjoy opportunities to ‘teach’ others comes from the enjoyment ratings that people gave to the Outreach activities, which were rated the second most enjoyable overall (after Hands On work) by the survey participants. Additionally, the idea of ‘passing it forward’ was listed by eight individuals in the open-ended question about ‘other motivations’ (beyond those listed on the questionnaire) that they might have for this work. It was also a theme that came out of the open-ended question on the ‘greatest satisfaction or reward’ people take from their work. While the numbers from the open-ended questions may seem comparably small related to other themes that came out of the research, those who indicated that this function was important to them often did so with an emphasis that suggested how much value was placed on educating others. 5.2.6 – RQ 6: Which Factors Detract from or Deter Participation? The literature indicated that the constraints for both community service and environmental volunteers show a great deal of overlap. There was also a great deal of overlap between the coordinators’ suggestions of constraints for their volunteers and the study’s findings, at least at a practical level. Two coordinators feared that volunteers were deterred by their groups being ‘too 211 disorganized’, the constraint item that received the second highest mean rating on that survey question. Three others also realized that their volunteers have many other commitments and so are ‘too busy’ to regularly attend events. An interesting idea raised in the interviews was that three of the coordinators suggested that weather acted as a barrier to volunteer participation at their workdays. Although this item was not listed on the constraints question of the survey (though perhaps in future research it should be included), it was a constraint listed by a survey respondent in the open-ended part of this question. The group of intangible, more personal constraints however, was an area where the coordinators were less able to predict the barriers to volunteer participation in their groups. Only two sets of interviews identified deterrents such as negative group dynamics, though these suggestions centred largely on the gender issues discussed throughout this research. However, all of the coordinators interviewed outlined efforts they made to ensure that volunteers in their groups felt welcomed and appreciated, so these more personal deterrents are likely not viewed as large volunteer barriers by these coordinators. The practical considerations of not having enough time or having too many conflicting obligations acted as strong deterrents for both community service (Braker et al., 2000, 7; Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 61; Hall et al., 2009, 50; U.S. Bureau, 2004, 4) and environmental (e.g. Byron and Curtis, 2001, 321; Curtis, 2000; Gooch, 2005, 9; Haas, 2000, 44; Martinez and McMullin, 2004, 117) volunteers. 212 More personal deterrents, like feelings of frustration and fatigue (Braker et al., 2000, 7), not having interest (Hall et al., 2009, 50), not enjoying the work (Dailey 1986, 29), feeling unappreciated (Esmond and Dunlop, 2004, 50), and that ‘one has done enough for one’s community’ (Hall et al., 2009, 50) were also identified as barriers for volunteers in all settings. Finally, issues within volunteer groups, like inadequate leadership (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 322), lack of resources (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 324; Byron and Curtis 2002, 62; Byron et al., 2001, 906; Martinez, 1998, 17, 19), and disorganization (Bell, 2003, 32; Donald, 1997, 496; Gooch, 2002, 2), discouraged a number of environmental volunteers. Although the literature review presented constraints in three grouping (individual, group-related, and task-related), when looking at the constraint items included in the study for this dissertation, one can intuitively group them into two groups. The first involves practical considerations, like not having enough time. The second is comprised of more personal considerations, like not feeling appreciated. The factor analyses on the constraint items bore out this more qualitative determination. Additionally, there were some patterns as to how the different constraint items were correlated to the participation variables. This section looks at the different types of constraints and how they related to different aspects of participation. 213 They Will Overcome Although cause and effect cannot be shown by the data, the results suggest that when respondents show high commitment to their volunteering, they are willing to overcome the more practical constraints that might prevent their participation. That is, priority ratings showed negative correlations not just with the Practical Perspective constraint factor, but also with the practical considerations of ‘being too busy’, ‘not being properly informed of volunteer opportunities’, and finding it ‘too difficult to reach the worksites’. These findings mean that the higher the priority ratings, the lower value the average respondent gave to these practical items as variables that deterred their participation. Group tenure also showed negative correlations with the Practical Perspective factor, and the items ‘not being properly informed of opportunities’, and finding it ‘too difficult to reach the sites.’ It is likely again that people who are more willing to overcome these constraints are also those who remain longer with their groups. However, it is also likely that some of these practical considerations become less of an issue as people gain tenure with their groups. For example, those who have been with their groups for longer periods are more likely to be familiar with their groups’ schedules than those who have joined the group more recently. Finally, the frequency of participation in Hands On volunteering showed a negative relationship with being ‘too busy’ to volunteer. This finding suggests that these volunteers are willing to organize their schedules in order to accommodate this type of volunteer work. In this case, it might be argued that these volunteers just have 214 less full schedules than some of their fellow volunteers. The analyses done for this study cannot show this definitively one way or another; however further calculations suggest otherwise. There are no correlations between ‘busyness’ variables, like mean participation in other environmental or community service groups, employment status, or whether or not the respondents are living with a partner. In fact, the only ‘busyness’ variable that did correlate with the frequency of participation in the Hands On category was the number of children a respondent has living at home, which is discussed in more detail below. The Personal Is the Impediment The Personal Perspective constraint factor showed a stronger explanatory value than the Practical Perspective constraint factor. Additionally, in contrast to the more practical constraints, the personal constraints seem more likely to diminish participation than to be overcome. In particular, the personal constraints seem to take away from the enjoyment that the volunteers take from their work. For example, high ratings for being deterred by feeling ‘one’s efforts are not making a difference’ are correlated with lower enjoyment ratings in the Hands On, Administrative, and Outreach categories. Here, we must again keep in mind that cause and effect relationships cannot be shown. That is, the correlations may be read two ways ‘the more I enjoy this area of volunteering, the less deterred I am by this item’ or ‘the less this item is a consideration for me, the more I enjoy the 215 activity’. While it is likely that both interpretations have some validity, for the items discussed, the latter reading seems more appropriate. These findings are particularly important as they relate directly to the ‘making a difference’ motivations discussed above. The respondents in their constraint ratings here are generally indicating that they do not enjoy their work if they are not feeling that they are making a difference. On other personal constraints, stronger feelings that one is ‘unappreciated by the group’ were correlated with lower feelings of Outreach enjoyment. Also, while not heavily weighted in the Personal Perspective constraint item, increased feelings that ‘one has done enough for one’s community’ were correlated with decreased Administrative and Outreach enjoyment scores. Both these relationships stress the importance of the groups acknowledging the efforts of their volunteers, and of the group leaders taking care to not rely so heavily on some individuals that burn out results. The Individual Matters During the analyses, two demographic variables were found to be correlated to constraint ratings. Additionally, two additional demographic variables were found to act as constraints to participation in various ways. 216 For those concerned about diversity in their stewardship groups, the findings for the effects of demographics on constraint ratings are particularly important. The first is that those of Asian backgrounds were more likely to be deterred from volunteering by ‘not being asked to participate’. The second is that younger people were more likely to be deterred by not being ‘properly informed of opportunities.’ Both of these situations are largely under the control of the groups, and suggestions are made in the recommendations section to deal with these concerns. Other deterrents to participation were not due to any of the constraint items listed, but rather the demographic variables of the individuals involved. As seen in the results, the number of children at home, and being female had a negative impact on a number of participation variable. Having children at home was found to have a negative impact on: group tenure, the priority and Outreach enjoyment ratings, and the frequency of participation in Hands On activities. These findings are not unexpected. The relationship with tenure might be spurious, in that it would be expected that older volunteers would have longer tenure with their groups and to also be less likely to still have children living at home. However, when considering priority ratings and frequency of participation in Hands On activities, having children at home necessarily means considering the needs of those children when making plans. For example, having children at home would mean that people might not be able to give full priority to their volunteering. Also, parents with children at home often have to forgo volunteering opportunities 217 that fall at the same time as their children’s activities. Additionally, these parents might feel forced to choose between spending time with their children or volunteering more frequently, especially if they view the activities as being not childfriendly and so think they cannot bring their children to volunteer with them. Being of female gender also tended to have a negative impact on the frequency of Hands On volunteering. One explanation for this finding is found in the literature, where women were shown to have lower ‘biogeographic availability’ than their male counterparts when participating in the environmental movement (Tindall, et al., 2003). However, while this is likely part of the explanation in the study at hand, the results suggest other factors may also be involved. These other factors are detailed more fully under ‘A Woman’s Place,’ beginning on page 238 below. 5.2.7 – RQ 7: Does Stewardship Lead to Better Environmental Citizenship? This section of Chapter 5 addresses the secondary purpose of the study, which is to examine the relationship between hands on stewardship volunteering and a number of positive environmental outcomes purposed in the literature. These outcomes include the development of feelings of attachment for nature, a greater environmental ethic, and increased ecological citizenship through stewardship volunteering (e.g. Harvey and Greer, 2004, 60; Jordan, 2000; Light, 2002, 2004, and 2005; Rosenau and Angelo, 2001). 218 Recall from Chapter 1 (page 26) ‘environmental citizenry’ was defined as the behaviours and attitudes people have toward the natural environment. Good environmental citizenry would encompass positive environmental actions and attitudes. As such, three measures of environmental citizenship were used in this study: the emotional responses of ownership, responsibility, and attachment that the volunteers have for their worksites; the willingness these volunteers have to take a set of reactions in the face of negative changes to their worksites; and other environmentally responsible behaviours that the volunteers take beyond their participation in stewardship work. The data and analyses were discussed only in relation to the Hands On activities, as it is this type of volunteering that is the focus of literature in this area. For the three questions in this section, we must remember that only correlations, rather than cause and effect relationships can be shown. However, as mentioned earlier, correlations do at least suggest support for the theories about stewardship volunteering and environmental citizenship. Hands On Volunteering and Emotional Responses to the Worksites One of the main ideas that was supported in this research were the strong feelings that the Hands On volunteers have for their worksites. The volunteers in this study generally indicated very high levels of attachment and responsibility for their worksites, with a slightly lower but still high sense of ownership. 219 Additionally, these volunteers gave very low ratings to the ideas that they would stop visiting or volunteering at their worksites in the face of negative changes to these areas. Although the volunteers did give more mid-range ratings to the items about their likelihood of finding new places to visit or volunteer, the data still do not show strong support for abandoning the worksites if negative changes were to occur there. The willingness to continue on at the worksites rather than find substitutes for them points to place-specific attachment among the Hands On volunteers. This is an interesting finding in that it differs from earlier literature, which found that park volunteers tended to form ‘conceptual attachments’ to nature, or ones that were directed to particular types of landscapes rather than specific natural areas, allowing them to substitute other, similar places for their volunteers sites should a negative change occur where they currently volunteer (Ryan, 2000). Just Coming Out is Not Enough In every case, it was shown that raw frequency of participation in Hands On stewardship volunteering was not correlated to the measures of environmental citizenship. Conversely, Hands On enjoyment ratings were correlated with the majority of environmental measures including: all three emotional responses, five of the ten potential reactions to negative change, and 220 12 of the 19 environmentally friendly behaviours. These findings suggest that to generate a ‘constituency’ of people to help the environment and to improve environmental citizenship, it is not enough to just get people out volunteering in Hands On work. The volunteers must also enjoy the work that they are doing. Therefore, those interested in building environmental citizenship through environmental volunteering must give consideration to the entire volunteer experience and strive to include aspects that foster the volunteers’ enjoyment of the work. Helping the volunteers to realize the benefits of this work, like the ‘big four’ motivators discussed above, would be an excellent start to this process. Stewardship as a Focal Practice Although not part of the current research, the correlational results for environmental citizenship seem to touch on Higgs’ discussions of focal restoration. In focal restoration, the process becomes about more than just the bare assisting of the return of ecosystem health. This type of restoration is predicated on social engagement and the involvement of local communities in the work (Higgs, 2003, 256-257) and is “shaped by engaged relationships between people and ecosystems” (Higgs, 2003,186). The concepts found within Higgs’ discussions seem to connect well with variables like developing group solidarity, seeing tangible differences, and the pleasure of connecting to nature that were correlated with enjoyment ratings for the Hand On volunteers in this study. And it is the enjoyment 221 of the Hands On activities that were most strongly correlated with environmental citizenship in this research. These are ideas that would be interesting to explore in later research. 5.3 – Recommendations for Stewardship Group Coordinators The recommendations in this study are suggestions for coordinators of stewardship groups in the recruitment and maintenance of volunteer support. Some of these ideas have already been undertaken by the study groups. Others are in response to concerns raised by the coordinators, and still others touch on issues that came out during the research. Many of these recommendations are easy to implement. However, other suggestions may be more difficult to put into practice. The group leaders are invited to review the ideas and use those that are best suited to the needs and resources of their organizations. 5.3.1 – Recruitment Messaging Through this study we have learned that stewardship volunteers are unique in the motivations hold when compared to standard given reasons for volunteering in the general volunteering literature. The analyses from this study also point to important opportunities provided by stewardship volunteering that should be highlighted in recruitment efforts. These are opportunities to: make a difference in nature, be part of a team of like-minded people and/or share camaraderie with fellow community members, 222 enjoy working in the natural environment, learn new things about local wildlife and habitats. There are a number of ways that these opportunities can be emphasized in the recruitment materials. These i) Include messages like: ‘Be part of a team that is making difference’, ‘Together we can make a positive change’, ‘Join the team and see the results’, ‘Learn in action and be part of the change’, and ‘What better way is there to connect to nature?’. ii) Show photos with: volunteers working together and enjoying their efforts, people having fun or looking relaxed while participating. ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of sites that have been worked on already, piles of invasive plants pulled or litter cleaned-up by the volunteers, and hatchery salmon spawning. Remember that happy volunteers in the ‘accomplishment’ photos makes them more personal. Highlighting previous successes of the group, such as number of salmon hatched, etc. in posters, newsletters, nature walks, etc. would also help to reinforce the idea that the group is making great achievements that help the natural environment. 223 5.3.2 – Recruitment Practicalities Focus Recruitment Efforts on Communities Neighbouring the Worksites In this study, the average volunteer travelled less than 10 km to participate with his group. Additionally, difficulty in reaching the sites took away from the enjoyment experienced by both the Hands On and Outreach volunteers. Concentrating recruitment efforts ‘close to home’ will reach those people who are most likely to become active with the group, and who are most likely to enjoy their experiences. Seek Out Those Seeking an Education One of the few common characteristics among the volunteers in this study was their fairly high level of education. Further, high school students in this province have a mandatory community-based work experience requirement for graduation (BC Ministry of Education, 2009), but the younger people in this study were more likely to be deterred by not being properly informed of volunteer opportunities. Some suggestions related to these ideas follow. Foster an Awareness of Opportunities at Local High Schools Some schools may allow recruitment posters. In fact, a coordinator interviewed noted that that group had used high school bulletin boards with some success in recruiting volunteer support. Others have resources, like booklets, for students looking to fulfill work experience hours. 224 Informal discussions during the study show many youth and young adults find opportunities through volweb.ca, a website that connects volunteers with organizations looking for this support. Some schools have relevant clubs that are seeking volunteer opportunities. - Contacting the teacher sponsoring the school’s environmental club fosters recruitment among students who already have an interest in helping the environment. Although high school students must fulfill a community-based work experience, this should not be the main recruitment message even for these potential recruits. ‘Volunteering as a requirement’ received low scores in this study, including among the youth who responded to the questionnaire. Indeed, one coordinator interviewed noted that she had spoken with the high school students in her group who were seeking to fulfill their community-service hours. While completing ‘their hours’ was part of their motivation for volunteering, the teenagers all also noted that they chose that particular placement because they wanted to help nature and do an activity where they could see the results of their efforts. Messaging suggestions like those given above are still the most likely to draw support from this pool of potential volunteers. Recruit at Nearby Post-Secondary Institutions Environmental studies and resource management programs might be particularly receptive, but given the diverse characteristics of the volunteers in this study, do not assume that others are uninterested. Marketing, business, and educational programs might have students interested in putting their learning into action, especially through some of the Administrative or Outreach tasks. 225 If You Are Interested in Having a Diversity of Volunteers Then Invite a Diversity of People The research indicated that those of Asian heritage, on average, gave higher ratings to the ‘not being asked to participate’ constraint than their counterparts of European heritage. Therefore, those interested in increasing the ethnic diversity of their groups may wish to ensure that people of different backgrounds are invited to join their groups’ work. Some places that may offer new recruitment opportunities are discussed below. Support for New Canadians A number of agencies and programs are available to foster and support new arrivals’ efforts to become comfortable in their new country. Some of these are: immigrant settlement agencies, ESL classes for new arrivals to Canada, and organizations associated with the BC Settlement and Adaptation program. The group solidarity and ‘belonging’ aspects of stewardship volunteering might be especially pertinent to those negotiating a place for themselves in their new homes. Aspects of ‘making a difference’ and ‘learning new things’ in one’s new community may also appeal to this audience. Religious Congregations and Organizations The role that religion, particularly Judeo-Christian belief systems, has played in the health of our environments has been debated in the literature. One of the earliest articles on the topic is the well-known and often-cited article by Lynn White. White’s 226 (1967) article argues the Judeo-Christian beliefs deriving from creation stories and ideals that put man44 in dominance over nature (and woman) are at the root of our ecological crisis. Others refute these claims, maintaining that Biblical scriptures actually provide a basis for good care of the earth, while “our destruction of nature is...the most horrid blasphemy” (Berry 1993). Research tends to indicate that different forms of beliefs lead to different results, where the most fundamental Judeo-Christian belief systems are generally correlated with the lowest levels of environmentalism (e.g. Boyd 1999; Eckberg and Blocker 1996; Schultz et al., 2000). The debate on the impacts of religion on environmental health will not be entered into further here, but it should be noted that many belief systems, including more liberal Judeo-Christian denominations, as well as religions outside these traditions, have tenets associated with stewardship for and/or communion with nature. Indeed, one of the groups in this study was formed specifically to allow and encourage those of their faith to carry out their ’God given duty’ to steward and care for the environment (Mearns, c2007). Further, many religions also have ideals related to community outreach, care, and service. In fact, “the frequency of attendance at religious services is linked to all forms of pro-social behaviour measured by the CSGVP, including volunteering” (Hall et al., 2007). 44 The word ‘man’ here is used in the more literal ‘male persons’ sense, rather than its supposedly ‘inclusive of all humanity’ usage. 227 Finally, while ‘religious/spiritual beliefs’ were not strong motivators to the study group as a whole (M = 2.31, SD= 1.32, N = 83), volunteers from the faith-based group gave this motivation a higher average rating (M = 3.65, SD = 0.79, N = 17). The role religion plays in environmental volunteering does not seem to be studied well (or at all) in the literature. Still, the combination of the CSGVP findings, the strong motivation ratings of the faith-based volunteers in the current study, and the idea that at least some belief systems allow and encourage stewarding and caring for the environment, suggest that approaching more liberal denominations of local religious organizations may be a potential recruitment venue for stewardship groups looking for volunteer support. Youth groups, environmental clubs, or other smaller committees within the larger membership might provide access points for volunteer recruitment efforts. In one example, members of a ‘community outreach committee’ at a local Sikh temple were instrumental in developing ties with a municipal community centre to become one the main supporters for the centre’s Earth Day celebrations (this event was not related to the study). In another example, one of the study groups has started building a partnership with a local Christian congregation, where members of the youth group are particularly active in their involvement in Hands On work45. 45 This partnership was started after the data collection and analyses were completed so is not be explored further here. 228 5.3.3 – Maintaining Support Know That Facilitation Is ‘Work’ A number of coordinators in the study expressed concern that they were torn between ‘working’ at workdays and ‘just’ circulating among the volunteer participants, getting to know them better, making them feel welcome, and checking in with people to ensure they are having a good time. However, other research has shown that having a facilitator within the group can assist in the recruitment and retention of volunteers (Wymer, 1997). A warm welcoming atmosphere is another factor that can increase volunteer support (Retime-Street et al. 2000, 659). Volunteers in this study value the group solidarity aspects of their participation, including feeling welcomed and receiving positive group feedback for their work. Group coordinators can also foster the experiences of the volunteers by pointing out how an individual’s efforts are contributing to the group’s objectives in helping the environment and in teaching their participants about the issues, wildlife, and habitats involved in the work being done. Do Not Neglect the Importance of Snack Time Aside from being a nice gesture of appreciation for work well done, snack time provides opportunities: for the group to get to know one another and develop a sense of camaraderie, to discuss progress being made by the team’s efforts, to answer questions and help people learn more about the environment, 229 to celebrate the accomplishments of the day, and to refresh and relax before returning to work or going home. Share and Celebrate Results Report back to the volunteers on the accomplishments that they have made. This may include achievements such as: the weight/volume of invasive plants pulled that season, the number of people reached during a public event, the population changes for indicator species being monitored and targeted for recovery by the group, improvements in water quality readings or other habitat measures, and the successes of the hatcheries’ work, - for example, the number of salmon released that spring, or - the number of salmon from the hatchery that returned that fall. Often, records of these types of achievements are already kept for funding reports. Tabulating the data for the volunteers would be an easy way to share the accomplishments of the group with those who helped to make these successes happen. Provide Learning Opportunities The survey respondents were not just motivated by learning opportunities. Volunteer programs that provided learning opportunities were associated with both higher rates of participation in the Hands On category and with higher mean 230 enjoyment ratings for Hands On and Outreach activities. The study respondents also reported the ‘ability to learn new things’ with fairly high frequency when asked about the greatest satisfaction or rewards from volunteering. Respondents listed both formal and informal educational opportunities that may be fostered in a variety of ways including: Host workshops and seminars. Support the provision of opportunities to take courses held by other organizations. - This may be as simple as alerting interested group members to these opportunities. - Where the groups’ volunteers show interest in external courses, efforts might be made to organize a group’s volunteers to attend this type of learning opportunity together. Give tours of the ecosystems where the groups work. - Pointing out the progress along with the wildlife and habitat features would help the participants see how their work fits into the whole project and to reinforce the accomplishments being made. Chat informally with volunteers and answer questions during the workdays. Provide print materials that participants can take home. - Materials may be produced by the group or provided by outside sources – e.g. several of the groups supply brochures made available by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council so that their volunteers can learn more about this issue. Keep Thank You Gestures Simple but Sincere The concern of how to thank the volunteers, and in particular suitable gifts that the coordinators can give to the volunteers was an inevitable concern that was discussed during the interviews. Indeed, the open-ended question on the survey 231 instrument asking people how they would like to be thanked was included largely because coordinators during the study development stage raised this as an issue for them. The study’s findings are interesting then, in that the volunteers have indicated that the gifts they receive are often secondary to other forms of appreciation. Yes, people do enjoy receiving small tokens of appreciation (this was the second most commonly listed response), but intangible benefits, like verbal expressions of appreciation and being warmly welcomed into the groups received emphasis from the participants and related directly to the ‘big four’ motivator of group solidarity. The majority of the volunteers who responded to the ‘how to thank’ question suggested small, largely intangible ways for groups to show appreciation to their volunteers. Those forms of appreciation that seem most valued by the volunteers need not be elaborate or expensive, but should be heartfelt and relevant to the individuals being thanked. Among the most important shows of appreciation is simply ensuring that individuals feel part of the group – greeting people as they arrive, introducing newcomers, checking in with participants, and thanking them at the end of a set of tasks are all vital ways of making the volunteers feel appreciated. Gifts given to the volunteers should also be kept simple. Clothing and pins denoting membership with the group were popular suggestions that also relate to the group 232 solidarity theme. Items relevant to the work, like coupons to nurseries and subscriptions to environmental magazines, were also commonly suggested tokens. Other forms of appreciation include: Name specific individuals in media like newsletters, websites, and meeting minutes for exceptional contributions. - Write letters and certificates of appreciation for some volunteers. - These may again be especially pertinent to Administrative volunteers, for whom ‘gaining job skills’ is associated with increased enjoyment. Have events like parties or dinners. - This form of appreciation is also one that lends itself well to making the group and beyond-group supporters more aware of the ‘behind the scenes’ contributions of those doing many of the Administrative and Outreach activities. These may be held by the group or by beyond-group supporters, like government or umbrella organizations. Solicit the recognition of beyond-group supporters through: - nominating volunteers for awards given by these supporters; - inviting representatives to attend workdays, meetings or community events to express appreciation; - being included as contributors in progress reports made by these groups. Deal with Negative Group Dynamics This is an area that is a separate study on its own. It is not the focus of this dissertation. However, the issue of small group dynamics was raised on occasion during the study, often with strong feelings shown by those expressing concerns on this topic. Although comments were often made in light of perceived gender 233 imbalances, others dealt with the more general issue of power dynamics and decision-making processes within the groups without reference to gender. This section (and one for the volunteers below) touches briefly on the issue of group dynamics, without going into the type of detail that may be included in a study specific to the topic. Before continuing, it should be noted here that the majority of comments made in reference to the groups and the groups’ leadership were positive ones for all of those involved in the study. Virtually all of the comments made in reference to this section were done so specifically in response to questions about constraints or concerns that the participants might have and in the spirit of giving constructive input to the research rather than a being an unburdening of long-held grudges among the participants. However, it should also be noted that some of the comments were made with strong emotion, reflecting the high level of concern held by some individuals for these issues. It is also not known if others have similar concerns but did not express them during the research. Besides, in general it is a good idea to deal with concerns about group dynamics at the early stages, before they become unmanageable problems. 234 Given that group solidarity is one of the ‘big four’ motivators, intra-group relationships seem especially relevant to stewardship organizations. Also, if a group is not functioning well it cannot fully accomplish its goals, impairing both the ability to help the environment and detracting from the other ‘big four’ motivators for the volunteers. Suggestions to get started on dealing with group dynamics include: Do not ignore problems – resentments will likely grow rather than ‘just go away’. Provide space so that open dialogue can take place. - Ensure everyone’s concerns are heard including those from less-outspoken volunteers. - Set ground rules that people may express their ideas freely, but must do so in a constructive way, and must respect others’ ability to give input too. Remind people that while not all ideas or suggestions will be implemented, the group will do its best to ensure all input is heard and considered before decisions are made. In situations of great conflict, consider bringing in an external mediator. 5.3.4 – Reducing Barriers – The Case of Demographics Two demographic variables, having children at home and being female, were shown to act as deterrents for a number of participation variables. Suggestions are given below that might help foster involvement by individuals with these demographics. Children Should Be Seen There are a number of ideas that might help parents with children at home give higher priority to their volunteering and especially to be able to participate more 235 frequently in Hands On activities. Some of these suggestions are fairly easy to implement others are more complicated. It is recognized that recommendations in the latter group might be beyond the resources of the group, but suggestions are also made that might help alleviate this concern. It is also understood that that groups cannot overcome ‘competing’ commitments that may be unique to parents with children at home. For example, children might participate in sports teams that have games at the same times as workdays are held. Additionally, some of the work really is not ‘child friendly’, and the groups might not be able to implement plans to increased participation of children in these activities, even if they would like to do so. Coordinators are welcomed to review the recommendations and take only those that are most applicable to the needs and resources of their groups. The list below starts with the more easily implemented suggestions and moves to the more difficult ones. If applicable, note on recruitment materials that children are welcome at workdays. - Noting also that people may arrive and leave during the posted times rather than being obligated to stay with their children for the entire event might also help parents feel comfortable bringing their children to Hands On work days. - Include photos of children participating in the volunteering on recruitment materials46. 46 Of course, consent from parents or guardians should also be granted before showing recognizable minors on publicly accessed materials of any kind. 236 Consider having an annual or twice annual ‘children’s and families’ workday, even if all workdays cannot be made ‘child-friendly’. - In one example, one of the study groups held a workday (tree plantings and invasive plant removals) followed by an Easter egg hunt for a workday that happened to fall on that long weekend. - These special days may reach individuals who might not otherwise feel eligible to participate due to having young children along. - These days also allow parents and their children to get to know the groups and learn first hand that they can, in fact, come for only part of the workdays and still be welcome to participate. - This tactic may recruit future regular volunteers as these families could participate more often as the children grow older. - This strategy would raise the profile of the group’s work to new beyondgroup supporters even if these supporters only attend the family days. Consider having a children’s program in conjunction with the workdays. - This idea must be approached with caution as resources directed to the program should not take away from the main objectives of the group (potentially also taking away from the ‘big four’ motivators of the regular volunteers). - One possibility is partnering with an environmental education class (or students) in a post-secondary institution that is interested in taking on this type of project. - This type of program may, again, be something the group holds occasionally at a set rotation (e.g. ‘every third month’) rather than every regularly scheduled workday. Although it might be difficult to include children in all aspects of a stewardship group’s work, the inclusions of younger participants might be an important step in the development of a ‘constituency for nature’. If we recall the literature that suggests early childhood experiences in nature can lead to later environmentalism (e.g. Chawla 1998 and 1999), we can speculate that including children in stewardship activities might assist in helping these young people in becoming good 237 ‘environmental citizens’ as adults. Stewardship not only exposes children to natural areas, it teaches them that they can take actions to improve the health of these spaces. A Woman’s Place Being a woman in this study was associated with lower levels of Hands On participation. Concerns were also raised about the role of women in the groups, where some felt that women ‘took on’ or ‘were assigned’ a disproportionate share of the less interesting administrative work, while the men got to do the ‘fun stuff’ outdoors, or to hold the more powerful positions, like president. A few suggestions are made here to encourage increased involvement by women in the more outdoor activities. Additional recommendations are made below for fostering the experiences of participants (of both genders) doing indoor work. Because the concern of women’s roles in these groups was raised during the research, it was not possible to explore the issue in greater detail for this study. However, previous research from two studies based on Landcare groups in Australia (Curtis et al., 1997) and New Zealand (Brasell-Jones, 1998) provide some insight on the experiences of women in some stewardship groups. These two studies deal primarily with the role of women in relation to power dynamics within their groups. However, the findings are applicable to those from this dissertation as similar issues were raised for this study. Additionally, the two Landcare studies 238 provide suggestions for reasons that women seem to be relegated to the more administrative roles in their groups while the men receive positions of greater authority, as well as pointing to directions to help resolve these gender imbalances. In the Landcare groups studied, it was found that women displayed high levels of concern, awareness, and knowledge about local environmental issues (Curtis et al., 1997, 43), and that they were often more active in their groups than their male counterparts (Brasell-Jones, 1998, 8). Despite these attributes however, women still tended to be underrepresented in these groups, particularly at the decisionmaking levels (Brasell-Jones, 1998, 8), and in more prestigious and powerful positions, like chairperson/president of their groups (Curtis et al., 1997, 53). Moreover, in both studies, women generally occupied a “disproportionate share of the arduous secretarial and administrative work of the groups” (Curtis et al., 1997, 53 – see also Brasell-Jones, 1999, 18). Brasell-Jones (1999) and Curtis and his colleagues (1997) suggest a number of reasons that women seemed to occupy the more administrative roles, while the men tended to take on the more active and decision-making functions in their groups that may be applicable to the study at hand: lack of recognition for women’s contributions, or potential to contribute, - sometimes including dismissive attitudes towards women’s contributions; perceptions by the male members that women lack the expertise or knowledge to hold more responsible positions; the greater proportion of women who already have administrative skills from careers and training outside their groups; 239 women’s own perceptions about where they can make the greatest impact; different interests and goals between men and women, where - lack of recognition for these differences augments this concern; acceptance of stereotyped gender roles (by both the men and women in the groups); women’s discomfort with hierarchical decision-making structures, where - consensus building groups allow greater opportunity for women’s participation; practical needs, like childcare, not being met to allow women to participate; the women’s own lack of confidence in their ability to participate; and the lack of female role models that can foster other women’s confidence to participate. It is difficult to say which of these factors may be at play in the groups involved in the study at hand. However, the ideas raised by the work done by Brasell-Jones (1998) and Curtis and his colleagues (1997) suggests areas of follow-up and future research with the groups that noted gender concerns during the data collection for this dissertation. The Landcare studies also point towards recommendations to augment those for involving greater numbers of women in Hands On activities and, in particular, in supporting ‘indoor workers’. Recommendations on both these issues are found in the following two parts of the dissertation. Encouraging Women’s Involvement in Hands On Activities Some recommendations for encouraging involvement of women in Hands On activities are: 240 Invite the women already volunteering in other areas of the group’s activities to participate in Hands On activities. - Do not assume these volunteers are happy ‘just’ doing more indoor tasks. - Talk to these participants to see if they would like to increase their involvement in Hands On work and, if so, what variables are acting as barriers for them. - These volunteers may also have suggestions about why other women are not more active in the Hands On activities of their groups47. Talk with women already active in Hands On activities about what might stop them or other women from coming out more frequently to your group’s workdays. When preparing recruitment and other materials ensure that female participants are shown in the photos. During workdays, check in regularly with female volunteers to ensure they are having a good experience and feel supported in their efforts. Assume that people of every gender are able to give a strong contribution to all areas of stewardship volunteering. 5.3.5 – Supporting the Indoor Workers Many of those doing the more indoor work, particularly Administrative tasks, enjoy this type of volunteering. However, a number of these volunteers seem to do this work more from a sense of obligation and responsibility than from one of enjoyment. Knowing this about the volunteers is crucial, as many groups rely heavily on volunteer support to carry out essential administrative and communications duties for their groups. Also, coordinators of these organizations are generally concerned that participants have pleasant volunteer experiences. A number of ideas may help 47 This is an issue that came out of the research so could not be fully explored here. It is an area that may deserve future study. 241 this work feel less onerous to those who feel obligated to do it and would likely add to the experience even for those who enjoy these activities: Do not confuse willingness and aptitude with enthusiasm for a particular type of work. Try not to rely too heavily on the same volunteers. - Unless specific individuals have indicated that they really want to do this work, try to share it between different participants. Connect regularly with these volunteers on specific ways to make the work more enjoyable or meaningful to them. For volunteers feeling overly obligated by these activities, try different strategies to relieve this stress. - Some volunteers might not be able to commit fully to a certain position (e.g. group secretary) but may be willing to ‘job share’ it with someone else. - Consider reviewing the expectations or goals of the group, e.g. a monthly newsletter may be too much for volunteers, where a seasonal one may be more manageable. Invite volunteers from other areas of the group to help out. - This strategy may be most successful for specific projects with set goals, beginning and end points, like helping to organize a specific outreach event, than for more ongoing work, like funding. - The strategy may also work best if volunteers are able to take on a part of an ongoing task. For example, a volunteer who is unable to commit to regular newsletter production may be willing to write an occasional article on a topic for which she has particular enthusiasm or expertise. Make connections between the indoor jobs and the ways that this work contributes to making a difference to the group’s larger environmental goals. Remember to include these ‘behind the scenes’ supporters in thank you events and shows of appreciation. Be sure to pass along all positive feedback received about the success of activities, so the volunteers can know that their efforts are appreciated, worthwhile, and well-received both within and beyond the group. Examine power structures and dynamics within your group. 242 - Try to ensure that both women’s and men’s voices are equally heard. - Move away from hierarchical decision-making structures and toward more consensus-based ones to help ensure inclusion of all ideas and interests. 5.4 – Recommendations for Those Who Support the CommunityBased Groups Almost all of the feedback on beyond-group supporters made in the interviews, discussions, and survey responses related to this study highlighted the invaluable relationships that had been built between the study groups and the larger organizations that affect the work of the study groups. Suggestions in this section both touch on the few small concerns raised about beyond-group support and highlight areas that support good partnerships that might be useful to others in this context. 5.4.1 – Funding and Resources This is a large topic that would warrant an entire study and report, so it will not be explored fully here. This section contains only highlights of the most frequently raised issues during the data collection process. Avoid Using ‘Support’ as a Tool to Download or Co-opt Services Unfortunately, cuts to government agencies doing environmental work in this region have often affected the ability of these agencies to provide the services normally (and often still) expected from them. In fact, the most recent example of this 243 problem occurred during the writing of this dissertation. At this time, the B.C. provincial government announced its latest budget, which included an $8.8 million cut to B.C.’s Environmental Protection Agency, a $25 million dollar cut to the B.C. Environment Ministry, plus projected cuts of another $41 million over the next three years. These cuts include almost $4 million in immediate degrading from the ministry’s Environmental Stewardship division. As a result of the new budget, 270 jobs are also expected to be lost in the Forest and Environment Ministries (Austin and Ivens, 2009; Green, 2009; Heyman and Cox, 2009; Hume, 2009). At the same time, this government is touting B.C. as Canada’s ‘greenest province’ and talking about the importance of environmental issues and jobs (Hume, 2009; Sierra Club, 2009). Although the coordinator interviews revealed that one group in this study relies almost entirely on partnerships with private funders and local businesses, the others tend to rely primarily on government and foundation grants for support, with some also receiving benefits from umbrella organizations and occasional corporate donation48. A reliance on government and grant sources and impacts to stewardship groups as a result of related cutbacks are common among stewardship groups in this province (Smailes, 2006), and this country (Gardner et al., 2003). Several of the participants in the coordinator interviews study raised the issue of government cutbacks to the environmental sector. These research participants 48 It should also be noted here that during one interview it was learned that that group prides itself on not having received any ‘outside’ funding, though it has had the benefit of in kind support from the local park board and related governmental agencies. 244 were sympathetic with the agencies and personnel suffering from the cuts, but argued that more seemed to be expected of the community groups to ‘pick up the slack’. Unfortunately, these groups were also facing resource cuts and concerns and questioned their ability to manage the increased expectations. This issue is a cause for concern for volunteer coordinators and beyond-group supporters, like governmental agencies, in this region. In other research some volunteers raised concerns that they felt ‘abused’ by the downloading of government services, and that the morale of the volunteers would go down as a result of the increased expectations on the groups (Measham and Barnett, 2007). Related research has shown that decreased governmental support and increased downloading of services onto stewardship groups did indeed lead to decreased volunteer morale (Curtis, 1999, 6), as well as to increased volunteer burnout (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 324). This concern also acted as a barrier to the stewardship groups achieving their goals (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999; 107), potentially compounding the problem by diminishing the realization of the accomplishment motivations. About half of the coordinators interviewed for this dissertation were worried that support often seemed tied only to the goals of external funding agencies, without full consideration of the capacity of the groups to carry out these objectives or a full consideration of the existing objectives and priorities of the groups receiving the 245 support. These conflicts in expectations caused tension and reduced enjoyment for the volunteers involved in this issue. Dialogue should be maintained between beyond-group supporters and the groups that they support in order to help ensure that the goals and objectives of all parties may be met. Recognizing that the community groups do not just receive support, but also provide it in the form of in kind returns in improving environmental services in their communities is an important part of this dialogue. Avoid the Double-Edged Provision of a Paid Coordinator In a related concern, many of the groups in this study function with no paid staff. One of the coordinators interviewed indicated that that particular group had no desire to have staff, preferring instead to only take on projects that the volunteers could manage. However, a common theme among the other interview participants was interest in having at least one person who could handle the day-to-day business of their groups. In fact, all but one of the remaining interviewees (that one being the paid coordinator for the group) indicated that a paid coordinator, dedicated to managing the group and its volunteers would benefit the overall functioning of their organizations. In some cases, this wish was raised even by paid staff, whose jobs encompassed other functions, leaving insufficient time to dedicate to the volunteer program. 246 While some of the groups in this study have individuals who are able to take on the day-to-day functioning of their groups on a volunteer basis, having a paid coordinator can also serve many benefits. A paid staff person could, for example, take on many of the administrative tasks that many of the study volunteers seem to take on out of obligation rather than enjoyment or preference. A paid coordinator is also useful in volunteer management, where recent study showed that the lack of such a staff person acted as a limitation to recruiting, organizing, and engaging volunteers for stewardship groups in BC (Smailes, 2007, 17), and staff for volunteer coordination was identified as a ‘need’ for environmental groups in Canada (Gardner et al., 2003). Additionally, studies on Landcare groups in Australia stressed the importance of the provision of a paid coordinator, who was seen as “an important ingredient in the success” of many groups (Curtis, 2000). Coordinators in these groups were able to increase group capacity through activities like securing funding, planning activities, improving communications, and generally providing work time that many volunteers are unable to give (Curtis and Van Nouhuys, 1999, 108). A paid coordinator can also help to decrease burnout in volunteer group leaders (Byron and Curtis, 2001) and office workers (Curtis, 1999). All of those interviewed who expressed interest in having funding for a paid group coordinator also expressed apprehension that the only way to fund a paid position would be through a government or umbrella organization. While the benefits of having someone that the group could rely on to maintain basic functioning were 247 recognized, larger concerns of losing control over the group’s mandate and objectives prevented many from seeking such support. Planning should be done ahead of time whenever an external supporter provides a paid coordinator. Discussions should entail the role and responsibilities of the coordinator and who would have the final decision-making authority when disagreements arise. These discussions must also include a review of the missions and mandates, roles and responsibilities, and authority and scope of both organizations involved in the partnership. Finally, there should be regular reviews of the relationship to ensure all parties are satisfied with its progress. Alternatively, project funding could allow for the provision of paid staff to supervise and lead the implementation of the objectives outlined in the funding proposal. Many coordinators pointed out the problem of having project funding without ability to provide staff to oversee and carry out projects with the volunteers. Funding structures that allowed for this support would be beneficial not just to the receiving groups, but also to the supporters, as it would likely improve successful implementation of approved applications. Help Cut Through the Red Tape Another common theme raised during the coordinator interviews was the excessive amounts of time spent searching and applying for and reporting back on funding. This was seen as a hurdle to project implementation as it drained available staff and 248 volunteer time and energy. Streamlining the application and reporting processes would benefit the volunteers. It would also be of benefit to the supporters by allowing more resources (especially in human time and energy) for project implementation, which would ultimately forward the missions of both the groups and the beyond-group supporters. Other research concurs. Easing the funding application and reporting processes is generally seen as helping to improve the capacity for stewardship in this country (FPTSWG, 2002a). Additionally, complicated funding application and reporting forms to obtain financial and other support from (primarily governmental) agencies act as a deterrent to participation and source of burnout for volunteers (Curtis 2000). Recognize ‘Beyond-Project’ Needs All of the groups expressed their gratitude for the funding that they received for their projects, however needs beyond these ‘basics’ are unfulfilled with current funding structures. Most groups would benefit from a number of infrastructure-related supports including: office space, a phone line, printing services, and computer and software access. In fact, all of the coordinators interviewed who are not already receiving this type of support raised this issue. It is often difficult for small organizations to gain funding for these things. Funding structures or in kind support that would allow the groups to access basic infrastructure would help to resolve this issue. 249 Lack of adequate resources can impact groups in many ways. Recall that perceptions that a group lacks resources like computer technology, funding and adequate volunteer support prevented people from being active in environmental groups and increased burnout among those who were active (Byron and Curtis, 2001, 324; Byron and Curtis 2002, 62; Byron et al., 2001, 906) and in the U.S. (Martinez, 1998, 17, 19). In addition, lack of funding for ‘infrastructure’ needs is also seen as a problem in general where stewardship groups tend to be funded on a project-by-project basis, leaving them with little or no resources to properly recruit and manage volunteers and carry out other stewardship activities that raise public awareness and support for conservation work. This lack of capacity is greatly inhibiting the effective delivery of stewardship projects and programs (Stewardship Centre, 2007, 7). Groups in other research in BC cited lack of funding as a challenge to volunteer motivation and management (Smailes, 2006, 17). Additionally, lack of core funding is cited as a factor that limits the effectiveness of a group (FPTSW, 2002b, 2), and as a hurdle to a stewardship group’s capacity and ability to meet its goals (e.g. Stewardship Centre, 2007, 1). Finally, noting that feeling a sense of accomplishment is one of the ‘big four’ motivators for stewardship volunteers, it must be argued that addressing issues like lack of core funding is key to the long-term functioning of stewardship groups – not just at a financial level, but ultimately at a human capital one. If groups are unable 250 to achieve their goals, then a strong motivational function like feeling a sense of accomplishment cannot be realized for the volunteers, risking the loss of this vital support to the groups. 5.4.2 – Supporting Recruitment and Maintenance of Volunteer Support Continue to Recognize the Expertise of the Volunteers Knowledge held by local ‘experts’ who experience an area on a regular basis can complement more scientific knowledge in decision-making processes (e.g. Fazey et al. 2006). Additionally, with proper protocols and training, volunteer environmental monitors can provide valuable information for research, planning, policy, and other uses (e.g. Brandon et al., 2003; Cohn, 2008; Engell and Voshell, 2002). On top of doing their own monitoring, stewardship volunteers often spend a great deal of time getting direct, hands on knowledge about their worksites in other ways (e.g. participating in workdays). This intimate knowledge of the worksites can contribute to planning and implementation of conservation projects, creating more successful results than if these projects were undertaken by professionals alone (e.g. Zevit, 2007). In this study, many of the volunteers and group coordinators expressed appreciation that their ideas and opinions about their worksites had been sought during decisionmaking and planning processes dealing with these areas. These ideas came out through the coordinator interviews and in comments in the open-ended parts of the 251 survey, as well as through informal onsite discussions with the volunteers. While one or two people expressed frustration in feeling their concerns were not taken seriously, many others were satisfied that they were appropriately heard as stakeholders with unique input to give about their sites, even if their suggestions were not always fully implemented. Continuing to seek input from the volunteers as unique stakeholders in the community will promote good working relationships with the stewardship groups and help maintain volunteer support for them. Help Get the Word Out Umbrella and government organizations often have access to potential recruitment tools that are more difficult for the groups to reach. For example, many groups do not have websites to post information about themselves or their opportunities, others do not have those with computer expertise to design websites or post information on the Internet. Beyond-group supporters could have a role in providing inkind support to the groups through housing the community-based organizations on the larger organizations’ own websites and providing support to the groups in creating effective webpages. The larger supporting groups often also have stronger connections to sources like the media and relevant government personnel and elected representatives. Beyond-group supporters then could contribute to the community-based groups’ 252 efforts in getting the word out about the importance of their projects, through helping the volunteer groups to connect with relevant media and decision-makers. Continue to Support the Fostering of Volunteer Experiences Beyond-group support was seen as very relevant to the volunteers in this study, a factor emphasized also in the coordinator interviews; all of those receiving this type of support from larger organizations emphasized not only how much it meant to them but also to their groups and their volunteers. Many survey respondents also expressed their pleasure in being recognized through a number of gestures including: banquets, mentions in newsletters and other media, and awards that were provided by beyond-group supporters. Many also saw these gestures of appreciation as a wonderful way to recognize the efforts of their entire group. Providing these shows of appreciation can help the groups feel recognized. It can also help to reinforce the group solidarity the volunteers have, and the idea that their work is truly ‘making a difference’ in the natural areas in their communities. Taking the opportunity to provide feedback to the volunteers on how their projects fit into the larger plans for the regions overseen by the external supporting agencies gives additional reinforcement for these two ‘big motivators’ for stewardship volunteering. Beyond-group supporters also often have personnel with expertise related to the work being done by the community-based volunteers. Playing a role in sharing this knowledge with the volunteers, through educational activities such as workshops 253 and seminars, or on-the-ground at workdays would serve two important functions. First, sharing knowledge about issues related to the groups would support the training and orientation of volunteers, especially those new to these experiences. Second, this input would foster the development of the ‘big motivator’ of ‘learning new things’ that many of the volunteers valued greatly in this study. 5.5 – Recommendations for Stewardship Volunteers An undisputed fact among the coordinators interviewed for this study is the vital role of the volunteers in their groups. These leaders share the idea that the groups would cease to function or even to exist without this support. Below are some recommendations for these volunteers. 5.5.1 – Attend When Your Schedule Allows It The coordinators in this research often expressed concern that some volunteers were shy to attend workdays after missing a few in a row, or if they could only attend a small number of events each year – an issue that was particularly important to three of those interviewed with ‘drop-in’ workdays. These leaders worried that people were deterred from participating again due to embarrassment over low attendance in the past49. However, the coordinators all noted that every participant was welcome, whether he could attend every event or come out only 49 Sheepish comments made to coordinators or other volunteers from those in this situation ‘brave’ enough attend workdays after long absences tend to confirm these suspicions. 254 once a year50. This reassurance was generally supported in informal discussions with the core participants. Advice to the volunteers in this situation follows: Attend whenever you can without fear of judgement for the times you are unable to participate. If possible, take advantage of the flexibility most groups have for their workdays, and volunteer for only part of the scheduled time. Consider trying other opportunities that might fit your schedule better and where the group may need support, e.g. helping with newsletters, group communications, organizing events. Think of irregular attendance as contributing new energy that helps to revitalize the morale of the group. 5.5.2 – Share Your Thoughts and Ideas Those who coordinate these groups often expressed hope that their groups’ practices and projects met the needs and wishes of the volunteers. Many also expressed interest in having more input from the volunteers on a variety of issues. Constructive feedback from the group was seen as a positive thing that would assist the coordinators in running programs in ways that do not just help the environment, but which also enhance the experiences of all involved. During the study, a number of areas were identified where feedback from participants would indeed support the ability of the group and the volunteers in achieving their goals. Some areas were 50 There was only one exception, where the coordinator would welcome all volunteers, but where the supporting agency of the stewardship group has rules about the number of hours volunteers must commit to in order to stay active in the program. Those not fulfilling the hours may still participate but must first go through the orientation process again. 255 more complicated than others. These issues are discussed below, beginning with the simpler issues and moving on to the more difficult ones. Areas for Input Recognizing of course, that not every suggestion can be implemented immediately (or sometimes at all), areas where volunteers could give input include: Give suggestions for preferred workday treats and thank you gestures. - Individual volunteers might not need or desire these things for themselves, but would be doing the group a favour to pass along their own ideas or those heard from others in the group. Make recommendations of fellow volunteers who are especially deserving of thank you gestures or awards, either from the group or for nomination to beyond-group supporters’ awards. Feedback on small changes that could be made in programs, e.g. preferring to have a small break during the workday rather than waiting until the end (or vice versa). Note areas of the park that might deserve more of the group’s attention. Share ideas for places to recruit new volunteers. Share ideas of places to ‘get the word out’ about the group’s activities, e.g. clubs, conferences, or other venues that are looking for displays, guest speakers, etc. Give positive feedback and encouragement to and share knowledge with the coordinators and also to fellow volunteers. - This input improves the overall functioning of the group by fostering the development of motivators like ‘group solidarity’ and ‘learning new things’. - This input can also function as a way for more senior members to welcome new participants to the group and help everyone feel included. - This input also assists the coordinators, who cannot be everywhere at once during work sessions to perform these functions on their own. 256 5.5.3 – Honesty Is the Best Policy The suggestions in this section deal with some of the more difficult issues of group dynamics and roles. They come about largely as a result of concerns that some participants feel over-extended by their participation or pressed into taking on one set of tasks when they would prefer another set (or at least to have greater balance in the sharing of the ‘fun’ and ‘less fun’ work to be done). These comments are also in partial response to concerns about group dynamics and power issues raised occasionally in the surveys. In every organization there are things that need to be done that few people are enthusiastic about doing. In employment situations, this work is considered ‘part of the job’. With volunteers however, things become more complicated. While it is wonderful that there are people willing to take on assignments ‘for the good of the group’, it is also important that these volunteers not work themselves into unhappiness, resentment, or burnout. These negative feelings are not just bad for the individuals, there are ultimately harmful to the group if they are left unresolved for too long. To avoid these situations, volunteers should consider the following actions: Be honest both to themselves and their groups about what commitments they can realistically make. - It is okay to say no sometimes. Place limits on their contributions - for example, ‘I can take meeting minutes, but only if someone else does every second meeting’, or 257 ‘I can help plan that event, but only if there are at least three other active members of the committee to work on it with me’. Provide constructive input on ideas that might help the group function more smoothly. - This can often be difficult, especially if the group has functioned in a certain way for some time, or if the group members involved are friends. - Politely given feedback is appropriate, even if it is not always well received. - Listening to others’ concerns and suggestions also helps to alleviate misunderstandings. Work with fellow group members to prioritize projects and ideas. - Prioritizing the work will help volunteers decide whether they really ‘need to’ do something or not. - Some tasks, like completing funding applications and reports, have set deadlines and must be dealt with in a timely fashion. - Other things, while ‘important’ or ‘good to do’ are less urgent. - Still other projects and ideas, while also beneficial, are not crucial to the group and can be left on a ‘wish list’ until there is sufficient interest among the volunteers for implementation. It is possible that some individuals may complain about any ‘reductions in services’, but people who feel strongly about prioritizing decisions could be encouraged to then feel strongly enough to take on the ‘extra’ tasks themselves. Take advantage of opportunities to do those things that provide the most satisfaction and benefit to them. - For example, one volunteer expressed a wish to pursue his interest in photography while volunteering – this may be a good fit with groups looking for support in creating outreach materials. - Other volunteers noted that they enjoy teaching others – working with the coordinators to create formal or informal teaching opportunities would satisfy this motivation for the volunteer and assist the coordinator with helping others learn new things and feel welcomed into the group. Remember that every contribution is a valuable one and that every accomplishment is a step forward in helping the environment. 258 - Working within one’s limits will still contribute to ‘helping nature’. 5.6 – Limitations of the Study As with any research, there are some limitations to the study at hand. These limitations fell into two categories. The first related to concerns about the respondents in the study, both around numbers in certain areas of the research and around the issues of whether the respondents here are representative of the larger population of interest. The second area of concern relates to the research methodology, including issues with self-reported survey responses and findings from correlational analyses. These two areas of concerns are discussed below. 5.6.1 – Concerns about the Respondents One of the main areas of concern was the limited amount of data available for some of the analyses. Although 127 questionnaires were received, not all were complete. Additionally, the data was often sorted into categories or themes for analyses leaving smaller numbers available in the calculating of results in some areas. This concern arose largely in describing the activity categories. The amalgamation of individual activities into the categories helped to lessen, but not completely eliminate this concern in later analyses. Caution then should be taken in generalizing results from these areas to larger populations. Another area where more data would have been beneficial would be to have had greater response from non-active group members (those on the group’s 259 communications lists, but who do not regularly attend workdays, meetings, etc.). Although invited and encouraged to participate in the study, few members with low activity levels responded to the survey. More could be known about the constraints to volunteering if these individuals had participated in the questionnaire in greater numbers. 5.6.2 – Limitations in Methodology One drawback of using self-administered questionnaires is that surveys may be seen to provide ‘artificial’ information, in that they only “collect self-reports of recalled past actions or of prospective or hypothetical action” (Babbie, 2004, 275). This issue might be of particular concern for the participant surveys, in that selfreported conservation behaviours have been found to have low correlations with the behaviours actually observed by researchers (Corral-Verdugo, 1997/6). In the study at hand, concerns about reported data would be particularly pertinent to survey question (SQ) 6, which asks people to report on their volunteering activities, and SQ17, which asks respondents to rate the frequency at which they perform a number of environmental actions. However, while there is no way of determining if the levels of difference are consistent across the different levels of activity of the participants, it is expected that participants at all levels of activity will have some differences between their self-reported and actual behaviours. Finally, the correlational analyses done in this study are unable to show cause and affect relationships, though sometimes discussions of this nature presented as 260 potential interpretations in the discussions of the results. For this study, the ‘more logical’ interpretations or the one that seemed best supported by other sources (e.g. the coordinator interviews, literature, informal discussions with participants) were offered. However, a different methodology (e.g. a panel study) would be needed to demonstrate if these are, in fact, the correct ways of reading the correlations found. 5.7 – Serendipitous Findings and Ideas A number of ideas and findings came out of the research that were not directly related to the research questions or methodology. These concepts were interesting and deserve mention. They are outlined briefly below. 5.7.1 – Volunteering as a Charitable Tax Deduction In Canada, monies donated to charity can usually be deducted from one’s income taxes. The idea was raised that volunteer work should also be allowed as a tax deduction, as the donation of time for many organizations (environmental and nonenvironmental) is often as valuable as cash donations. Structures are already in place for organizations to record and provide ‘receipts’ for volunteer hours given for social assistance, high school credit, and other programs. Government would need only to work with representatives from the volunteering sectors to determine the rates assigned to deductible volunteer hours. 261 5.7.2 – Stewardship Olympics An idea that was discussed among many of the participants was having a ‘Stewardship Olympics’. Groups from the region could meet and ‘compete’ at events like the clean-up scavenger hunt, the planting race, and the creation of the largest English ivy ball. Based on the study results, this type of event may be worth doing as it could help to reinforce group solidarity among the participants. 5.7.3 – Stewardship as a Group Bonding Experience Group solidarity and making a difference are two great motivators and benefits of stewardship work. Stewardship then may be a great tool in helping organizations, like corporations, looking to foster group bonding and teamwork among their members51. Working together to accomplish a stewardship project could help develop teamwork and the satisfaction that comes from ‘making a difference’ among members of a given organization. Members would also have opportunities to connect to nature in new ways and to learn more about the environment. The organizations would benefit both through developing teamwork within their staffs and in fostering a positive image through community service work. 51 In fact, Evergreen Canada is having some success with corporate events, where organizations participate not only to help the environment but also to achieve the other types of benefits mentioned here. 262 5.7.4 – Stewardship ‘Match-Making’ All of the coordinators valued their volunteers, and many indicated that it would be useful to have additional support in some areas of their programs. However, concerns were often raised that the groups do not always have the capacity – in time, technology, and funding – to increase the level of recruitment, training, and support for their volunteers beyond current levels. This is a concern that seems common in this type of volunteering organization (Smailes, 2006). One solution might be for a volunteer ‘match-making’ service to be created in order to help stewardship groups connect with people in their areas looking for this type of volunteer experience. Although some online sources exist for this, e.g. generally through Volweb.ca or specifically through Stewardship Canada, many of the groups do not have the resources even to access these self-service recruitment opportunities. Additionally, these websites do not offer follow-up support in training, etc. beyond providing online literature for the coordinators to read, should they find time to do so. The type of ‘match-making’ organization discussed here could provide additional support through general orientation and training for new volunteers on issues common between groups (e.g. importance of invasive plant removals and techniques for this), as well as through supporting the groups in thanking the volunteers for their work (e.g. through dinners and tokens). This type of organization might also help groups with specific needs, like seeking out interested ‘experiential education’ classes to create and manage a children’s program. 263 Funding for this type of service would need to be sought through umbrella or government organizations and/or existing volunteer centres designed for other community service opportunities. 5.7.5 – Stewardship as a Mechanism of Hope Messages in the media often portray a pessimistic, hopeless view of our ecological situation, or indeed, our very existence on this planet. While it is important to recognize and deal with environmental concerns, these negative messages can “overwhelm people, making them feel helpless” (Grese et al., 2000, 275). Feelings of helpless can detract from the ability to perform environmentally friendly actions and even lead to apathy and avoidance in those experiencing this emotion (Kaplan, 2000). Stewardship volunteering may be an ideal way of resolving this issue. Hands on stewardship volunteering provides opportunities for individuals to make a direct, tangible, and positive difference in the environment, to prove to themselves that they are not helpless in the face of environmental degradation. Thus, this ‘making a difference’ function of stewardship works has the ability to “empower [the volunteers] with the notion that their actions do make a difference” (Grese et al., 2000, 275) and to foster hope that positive changes can and are being made both by the home groups, and by individuals in similar groups in the region. That is, this type of volunteering may generate optimism and push back against the negative 264 messages people receive regularly about environmental issues and to counteract the hopeless and hopeless that may result from these messages. Grieg and Whillans have called restoration ecology “the ecology of hope” (1998, 123). On the same note, it might be said that stewardship volunteering is the volunteering of hope. 5.8 – Future Research A number of areas for possible future research were raised in this study. These are: a deeper exploration of the types of volunteer stewardship experiences that lead to greater environmental citizenship; a longitudinal study examining the potential long-term psychological health benefits of stewardship work, - which would examine onsite benefits as compared to whether or not such benefits continue overtime and ‘offsite’ in the volunteers’ normal routines, and which - which would be related to restorative theories of nature (e.g. Grese et al. 2000); the role that religious or spiritual beliefs might play in environmental volunteering; gaining a better understanding of the role of gender in stewardship volunteering decisions, - which might include more in-depth interviews with the volunteers (both male and female) as well as panel studies and/or participant observation research focussed on this topic; the efficacy and practicality, and results of children’s programs with stewardship groups; a longitudinal study examining the impacts of participation in stewardship volunteering by children and later environmentalism 265 the transcription and coding of the coordinator interviews for a separate study on the resources, needs, and current management, etc. of the study groups a study that specifically surveys non-active or past members of stewardship groups to determine their constraints to participation. 5.9 – Research Contributions This study is able to contribute to the amazing work of stewardship groups and volunteers in a number of ways. One of the main contributions made was in highlighting the unique set of motivations held by stewardship volunteers and the need to treat these volunteers as a distinct sub-group of participants in the volunteering literature. Further, through the proposition of the ‘big four’ motivators, this study presents a set of functions that may be used as a basis for the development of a model of stewardship volunteer motivations similar to the VFI and VMI models (summarized on Table 2.1 on page 34) that are often used when discussing volunteer motivations and benefits in a more general context. Although this set of ‘big four’ motivators was found specifically in this study, literature on participation in the environmental movement, combined with experience of the researcher suggests that this nascent model for stewardship volunteering motivations would be applicable to stewardship organizations in the region, the rest of the country, and even in North America, and perhaps beyond. Additionally, it is thought that this group of ‘big four’ motivators might also be useful 266 to those conducting research on volunteers in other, non-environmental, but still ‘hands on’ settings, like Habitat for Humanity. While the constraints for stewardship volunteers seemed more comparable to those found in the literature for other types of volunteering, the study at hand still generated pertinent results for stewardship group coordinators. Namely, the study highlighted the importance of ‘personal’ constraints, like feeling unappreciated over more ‘practical’ concerns, like lack of time. This research also drew attention to a number of demographic constraints on participation, in particular the role of gender in the participation and enjoyment of the volunteers in the different types of activities with their groups. Finally, this research contributed to theories relating environmental stewardship and environmental citizenry. Here, the results show that factors beyond mere frequency of participation serve a crucial role in the development of environmental citizenry among stewardship volunteers. Additionally, the findings of this study suggest that enjoyment of hands on stewardship volunteering is a key part of the process. 5.10 – The Final Word This research provided an interesting opportunity to learn more about what motivates and constrains people in their stewardship volunteering efforts. The study also drew out four main benefits and motivations for stewardship volunteering that would be applicable to these volunteers in other regions. These were: making a difference, personal welfare, learning and skills, and group solidarity. These ‘big 267 four’ motivators differ somewhat from the reasons highlighted for volunteering in other settings, showing the uniqueness of volunteering experiences in an environmental context. This study also touches on the relationship between environmental stewardship volunteering and the development of environmental citizenship. The results here indicate that this is a complicated process that involves variables beyond just getting people out and getting dirty to help nature. Additional research would help to elucidate this issue further. One of the most important messages to ‘take home’ from this research is the truly awesome nature of community-based stewardship volunteering. This type of volunteering has the power to bring together laypeople of diverse backgrounds into dedicated teams that make positive differences to the health of local ecosystems. Additionally, this type of volunteering has the potential to foster positive changes in other environmental areas by providing enjoyable experiences that could lead to greater environmental citizenship. 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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Why people help : motivations and barriers for stewardship volunteering Wahl, Veronica 2010
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