The role of knowledge in residential lawn management

Nicholas F. Martini, Kristen C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Researchers have long argued that environmental knowledge is a necessary component for improving individual environmental behavior. We take up this discussion in the context of homeowner lawn management. Using survey data from a 2011 yard care study conducted in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, we explore the level of knowledge homeowners possess in regards to their lawn, and how this knowledge relates to best management practices as well as the awareness of linkages between the lawn and the local ecosystem. We conceptualize knowledge at an instrumental/technical level and showed that many homeowners were lacking in specific instrumental knowledge of their lawn management. However, individuals with more knowledge of their lawn management were more likely to manage their lawns in a manner consistent with recommended best practices and also were more aware of the local water ecosystem. Essentially, many homeowners had limited knowledge, suggesting that increasing knowledge may help improve best lawn practices, but it alone will not transform homeowners into the highly effective lawn managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1047
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Ecosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 21 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (Award Number 0908998).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Behavior
  • Best management practices
  • Instrumental knowledge
  • Lawn nutrient management
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul
  • Minnesota
  • Urban ecosystems


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