WHAT DO PEOPLE WANT FROM THEIR COMMUNITY FORESTS? RESULTS OF A PUBLIC ATTITUDE SURVEY IN MISSOURI, U.S.
Thomas Treiman and Justine Gartner
Abstract: A self-administered survey of randomly selected recipients in 44 Missouri, U.S., communities found that most Missourians were very concerned about the quality of natural resources and having trees on streets and in parks. Respondents felt that Missouri was not doing well at making sure fewer trees are lost during development and at managing stormwater runoff. Residents in communities with a population of 50,000 or more, in the St. Louis and Kansas City suburbs, and in the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City show strong support for a ballot issue establishing a tree fund supported by a tax of US$5 or less. Missourians in communities with a population greater than 5,000 showed support for protecting or replacing trees during development through passage of a tree preservation ordinance. They lack basic knowledge of their community's tree program and could not correctly say whether their community was certified by The National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA. They are most likely to seek information on trees from their local garden center. The results of the survey, together with recent surveys of community forestry officials and street tree inventories, are used to make recommendations to state agencies charged with managing community forests.
Keywords: Missouri, U.S.; public attitude; survey research; tree program; urban and community forestry