Motivations and Incentives for Installation of Rain Gardens: An Ethnographic Assessment in the Perrinville Creek Watershed
31 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2021
Date Written: 2016
Community-based participation is a vital component of municipal efforts to address water quality, reduce pollution, and enhance habitat in the Salish Sea basin. At the request of Nature Conservancy and Snohomish Conservation District, a team of researchers from Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington have conducted a rapid ethnographic study of residents of the Perrinville watershed with the goal of helping the Cities of Edmonds and Lynnwood with their efforts to better manage stormwater and improve the ecology of these urban communities north of Seattle. The results of an ethnographic analysis that included participant observation, informal interviews, and a door-to-door and online survey reveal a community eager to contribute to the efforts of their municipalities to address urgent environmental and stormwater management issues in the Perrinville basin. While most residents currently have lawns of grass, nine out of ten of them prefer the aesthetics and environmental benefits of diverse plants and flowers and are willing to contribute financially and via their own time and effort to the installation of rain gardens in public right of ways and their own yards. The residents do have some concerns about maintenance and would like a voice in placement, size, and selection of appropriate plants for rain gardens on their property. Most would need some financial incentives and technical assistance to be able to retrofit their properties or care for rain gardens in public right of ways but are willing to put some of their own money and labor into the effort. The community is clearly ready and willing to contribute to the efforts of their municipal governments to improve water quality, reduce flooding and pollution, and enhance environmental sustainability.
Keywords: Community-Based, Ethnography, Rain Gardens, Social Marketing, Conservation, Stormwater, Salish Sea
JEL Classification: D03, E03, H31, H76
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation