Enhancing Technology Transfer to the Homeowner
The Master Gardener program in the seven-county Denver metropolitan area is very active in integrated pest management (IPM) technology transfer. Homeowners come to a plant diagnostic clinic when they are faced with a pest problem. Colorado’s urban IPM programs target correct identification of pest and disease problems and subsequent recommendation of integrated environmentally sound control strategies. Children were asked preprogram questions about general IPM practices, plant growth, and general insect awareness. The puppet show concentrates on discussing beneficial organisms, pesticide safety and alternatives, and the consequences of pesticide misuse. The evaluation demonstrates that the puppet show clearly enhances child awareness of the IPM concept. It provides an opportunity to motivate young people at a very early age to explore and learn to appreciate the complexity of their environment, individually, as a group, and with parents. The ultimate goal is an increased awareness of the need to live in harmony with, and maintain the quality of, the urban environment.