The research question addressed in this project was: How does an art installation work to educate and persuade park users to practice pro-environmental behaviors at Sullivan Lake Park? The purpose was to raise awareness of the environmental problems at the author’s local park, Sullivan Lake Park, and inspire the community to practice habits that are more environmentally friendly. Sullivan Lake Park has environmental issues of trash in the lake and people feeding bread to the turtles and waterfowl. The research focused on barriers to pro-environmental behavior (PEB), influences on PEB, and communication to a diverse community through art. It is informed by Kollmuss and Agyeman’s work on why people act pro-environmentally and the barriers, Quimby and Angelique’s look at opportunities and challenges for psychology of barriers and catalysts to community PEB, the work of Soliman et al. in circumventing temporal and social barriers to PEB, and the work of Marks et al. in creating art in nature to capitalize on a sense of place and feelings of belonging and ownership to increase locals’ PEB. The project consisted of an art installation; a 7’ turtle made from crocheted plastic bags and adorned with trash from Sullivan Lake and a knit QR code leading to a website with information on the environmental issues at the park, suggested alternatives, and interactive ways to become involved in PEB. A proposal to publicly display the art installation at Sullivan Lake Park was submitted to local governance. The author describes the limitations and further research and projects stemming from this project, and concludes that: 1) other people truly enjoyed being involved and contributing to this project; 2) the trash problem extends beyond that which could be caused by mere littering; and 3) a deeper understanding of the permanency of plastic.
Community Building, Environmental Studies, changing behavior, communication through art
Parker, Missy, "Trash, Turtles, and Telesis: Sparking Community Environmentalism Through Art" (2020). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 466.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects