How Effective are Watershed Signs Anyway? Evaluating Visual Environmental Communication in a Small Urban Watershed
Jurij Homziak

Watershed signs are ubiquitous, but a review of recent projects shows most does not have objectives, expected outcomes, or indicators of success or failure. Evaluation outcomes for sign projects are not available, so measurable changes in knowledge, attitude or behavior among target audiences remain largely unknown. A comparison of pre and post sign responses in a rapid and limited survey of pedestrians in a small impaired urban watershed in Burlington, VT, showed no significant differences among respondents in knowledge of the watershed, attitude towards water quality or taking action (seeking additional information about water quality). The lack of significant outcomes suggests that) watershed sign projects may be less effective than anticipated, b) they may be more effective as part of broader water quality outreach efforts, and c) watershed sign projects must be evaluated to determine their effectiveness.

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