Sustaining Civic Recreation: Understanding What Shapes Climbers’ Contributions to Local Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy


  • David P. Carter University of Utah



stewardship, outdoor recreation, resource management, volunteer, donate


A new form of recreation-focused collective action has grown over recent decades. Practitioners of shared outdoor recreation interests are coordinating to meet stewardship and advocacy goals. Such “civic recreation organizations” blur the lines between voluntary sport clubs, interest groups, and resource management, promising concentrated recreational benefits and offering the potential for positive impacts for other user groups and stakeholders, land managers, and perhaps even the general public. This study draws insights from leisure, voluntary contributions, and social exchange research to examine how the relationship between a recreationist and a civic recreation organization, recreational commitment, and the likelihood of receiving tangible benefits may impact recreationist’s propensity to contribute to civic recreation through organizational membership, donations, and volunteering. The analysis offers theoretical insights into how trust and recreational commitment might support sport-centered local civic environmentalism, with practical implications for civic recreation leaders.


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Special Issue: Fostering a Culture of Sustainability through Outdoor Recreation