A survey of Connecticut consumers was used to investigate perceptions of various green industry retailers. Consumer perceptions of independent garden centers (IGC), home improvement centers (HIC), and mass merchandisers (MM) business practices and their perceived value were assessed. Analysis of variance and ordinary least squares regression models were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that customer service, knowledgeable staff, and high-quality plants are important factors when consumers are deciding where to shop. IGCs were ranked highest in perceived customer service, knowledgeable staff, and plant quality, followed by HICs. MMs were ranked lowest for the majority of measured business practices, with the most notable exception being price. Additionally, IGCs, HICs, and MMs are perceived differently across age cohorts.
Julie H. Campbell and Benjamin L. Campbell
Victoria H. Wallace, Candace Bartholomew and Julie H. Campbell
A mail survey was distributed to school turfgrass managers throughout Connecticut focusing on the differences between turfgrass management practices for kindergarten through eighth-grade (K-8) school grounds before, during, and after a 2010 ban on pesticide use at these facilities. The results indicate that as turf care protocol transitioned from an integrated pest management (IPM) program to new pesticide-free regulatory requirements, school grounds/athletic field managers did not significantly adjust their management programs. The percentage of managers applying pesticides on K-8 grounds decreased, as expected, with the implementation of the new pesticide ban; however, pesticide applications on high school grounds/athletic fields also decreased. Furthermore, it was observed that there had been minimal adoption of minimum risk 25(b) products, the suggested alternative to traditional synthetic pesticides. With respect to other cultural practices, we found that few changes have been made to other cultural practices that would improve turf quality. Budgetary issues facing school grounds/athletic field managers may have limited their ability to implement potentially costly management practices necessary to offset the loss of pesticides. Educational efforts to promote new management practices have the potential to inform school grounds/athletic field managers about new methods, thereby, potentially increasing adoption.
Julie H. Campbell, Jason J. Henderson and Victoria H. Wallace
This study examined how different presentation formats affected knowledge gain among school grounds managers. Results indicate large-group participants (presentation to ≈50 participants at a turfgrass field day) had greater knowledge retention than small-group participants (presentation to 6–10 participants at an interactive workshop). Small-group attendees had more flexibility to discuss issues that affected them directly and may have focused on those issues instead of the targeted information. Large-group meetings were more ridged in format and attendees were less able to deviate from the main subject matter being presented. However, the value of the small-group meeting should not be discounted, especially when athletic field grounds managers and staff require information specific to their situation. When disseminating more general information, the large-group meeting format is a better means of delivery.