271-6 Public Land Manager Preferences, Attitudes, and Influential Factors Related to Use of Low-Input Fine Fescues for Public Lands and Residential Yards.
First, we compared public land managers’ attitudes about low-input turfgrasses to their turfgrass trait preferences. If attitudes did not match trait preferences, breeding and/or education may address the problem. We investigated attitudes and traits in three domains: aesthetics, management, and tolerance. For example, aesthetic traits (uniformity and density) were significantly related to the aesthetic attitude, however, mangers were generally ambivalent about fescue’s qualities in this area.
Second, regarding residential yards, manager respondents felt knowledge was the biggest barrier to residents using fine fescue. Most mangers supported conversion to low-input grasses on public lands, and over 50% supported public programs for residential lawn conversion, but were not sure if public officials would support such an initiative. No respondent reported municipal cost sharing programs for conversion to low-input lawns, but 25% provided cost sharing for rain gardens. Public land managers are a crucial point in anticipatory governance and management efforts for landscape-level conversion to low-input grasses, as they model vegetation choices through land management and can support residents through government policies and programs that encourage low-input turfgrasses for a sustainable urban ecosystem.