Community Based Social Marketing 

The Clean Rivers Coalition hosted a Community Based Social Marketing training on January 6 – 11, 2021. The training was led by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, the founder of Community Based Social Marketing and author of Fostering Sustainable Behavior: an Introduction to Community Based Social Marketing. The training attracted over 80 folks from watershed councils, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, local governments and water related non-profits. Attendees learned how to create a “behavior chain” for target audiences using an analysis of benefits and barriers to facilitate behavior change. 

This training was funded by the Clean River Coalition’s EPA grant to reduce residential pesticide use, as part of the larger Follow the Water – Connect the Drops outreach campaign now in development. The Clean Rivers Coalition is currently inviting prospective contractors to help with website development and video content creation under this grant. 

Pesticide Use Reduction Campaign and Video Planning Forum

As a follow up to the Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) training, the Clean Rivers Coalition hosted a forum focusing on selecting behaviors around pesticide use that will be used to pilot test CSBM strategies. About 40 stakeholders from watershed councils, SWCDs, DEQ, and regional and local governments attended the forum. Break out sessions during the forum were divided into regional groups: Southern Oregon/Eugene area, Mid Willamette/Salem area, Hood River, Clackamas River basin, Washington County area, Multnomah County area, and the Vancouver/Clark County area.

CRC presented the background research, which identified the target audience – middle/upper income white households – and regional expert survey about which areas of landscape care to focus upon: lawn weed control. In the breakout sessions, discussions around motivations for using pesticides, barriers for pesticide users to change to an alternative. There was a lot of cohesiveness around 1) teaching fall and spring aerating, dethatching, and overseeding, and 2) use of a slow-release fertilizer (primarily fall), and 3) asking people to give up weed and feed and use spot spraying only if they need a product.

Individuals self identified themselves to participate in pilot testing. A workgroup be created to develop the “behavior change” and pilot testing strategies.

Stakeholders with expertise in teaching outdoor yard maintenance and pesticides/alternative methods were invited to join a video content subcommittee to collaborate on storyboarding for a videographer that CRC will hire in April/May to develop a video series with EPA grant funds.  The pesticide video committee will meet on three dates in March & April/May.

If you are interested in partcipating in the CBSM pilot testing strategy workgroup for pesticide use reduction, or the video development workgroup, please contact Project Lead – Keri Handaly, City of Gresham at keri.handaly@greshamoregon.gov .

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