More Canadians spending time in their managed yards: poll of adults
Number increased in 2022 over 2021
March 8, 2023 By Turf & Rec
About a quarter of Canadians spent more time in managed landscapes, including yards, in 2022 than in 2021, according to a poll of more than 1,000 Canadian adults. The survey was commissioned by the TurfMutt Foundation and conducted online by The Harris Poll.
Additionally, “backyarding” activities – living life more outdoors – appear to be important as the majority of Canadians who owned a yard in the past two years (76 per cent) have invested in it recently. A majority of Canadians (82 per cent) also say if they were looking for a new home, a spacious yard would be at the top of their wish list.
“We’re entering a new level of appreciating our yards, parks, and other green spaces, and backyarding is now a habit for people,” says Kris Kiser, CEO and president of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute of Canada and the TurfMutt Foundation, an organization that advocates appreciation and caring for green space and encourages people to spend time in living landscapes. “Now we predict 2023 is the year of the mastering the art of backyarding.”
The majority of Canadians recognize that a yard is beneficial beyond its aesthetic value, such as being environmentally friendly, being part of the connected ecosystem, increasing home values, and being a vital part of pets’ health and happiness.
• Roughly nine in 10 Canadians (88 per cent) recognize that having a yard is important for a pet’s health and happiness.
• Even more (92 per cent) believe having a yard increases a home’s value.
• More than four in five Canadians (85 per cent) believe having a yard is an important part of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
• To take it one step further, nearly three quarters of Canadians (72 per cent) believe their yard is part of the connected ecosystem, giving pollinators and wildlife food and shelter.
An extension of the home
A majority of Canadians (79 per cent) see their yard as an extension of their home, which may explain why so many have invested in their yards over the past two years.
• More than three in four (76 per cent) recent Canadian yard owners (defined as those who have owned a yard in the past two years) have invested financially in their yard over the past two years.
• Landscaping (47 per cent) and gardens (46 per cent) top the list of investments.
Most popular spaces
Managed landscapes are quite popular among Canadians, with a majority (62 per cent) citing they spend time in these settings at least once a week when the weather allows.
• An overwhelming majority of Canadians (91 per dent) believe that spending time in managed landscapes is good for their health and well-being, so it’s no surprise that nearly half (45 per cent) say they do so several times a week or more often.
• The most common managed landscapes Canadians spend time in are yards (67 per cent), with 62 per cent spending time in their own yard and 16 per cent spending time in someone else’s, followed by community parks (38 per cent).
Time spent in managed landscapes
Frequency of spending time in managed landscapes varies by age, with older adults most likely to do so more frequently.
• Adults ages 55-plus are more likely than those under age 55 to say they spend time in managed landscapes several times a week or more often when weather allows (56 per cent versus 36 per cent).
• Adults ages 35-44 and 55-plus are more likely than those ages 18-34 and 45-54 to say they spend time in managed landscapes at least once a week or more often when weather allows (67 per cent & 71 per cent versus 52 per cent & 50 per cent).
Roughly nine in 10 Canadians (91 per cent) currently have a yard, and while many spend time doing typical yard-related activities in it, a good proportion also use their yard for leisure activities and other purposes:
The most popular activities include:
• 58 per cent spending time in their yard gardening or doing yard work
• 54 per cent spending time with friends and family
• 53 per cent lounging/relaxing
• 52 per cent cooking/eating meals in their yard
• 33 per cent watching/interacting with wildlife
• 32 per cent entertaining guests
• 30 per cent playing with pets
• 23 per cent exercising
• 21 per cent playing games
• 13 per cent studying or working
Yard activities vary by age. While gardening/yard work is the top activity among yard owners ages 35-44, 45-54, and 55-plus (61 per cent, 65 per cent, 68 per cent), the top activity among yard owners ages 18-34 is spending time with family and friends (46 per cent).
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of OPEIC from February 6-8, 2023, among 1,028 Canadian adults ages 18 and older.
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