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Individual Highlight

Americans and Greeks Experience Similar Benefits from Recreation in Forests

Photo of Snapshot : Data show recreational uses of forest lands are psychologically and socially important

Principal Investigators(s) :
Absher, Jim 
Research Location : Sumpter National Forest, South Carolina and Thessaloniki, Greece
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 102


Data collected from recreation lists in the United States and Greece shows that recreation experiences in forests are immediately fulfilling and beneficial to enduring issues related to quality of life, an individual's sense of self, and social bonding. Forest Service scientists and their collaborators at Texas A&M University and in Greece report a deeper understanding of the role that outdoor recreation plays in visitors' lives, enabling the benefits of recreation to be evaluated alongside other significant life events and the report shows that outdoor recreation can be restorative and functionally important to everyday life.

The data will be increasingly important to policymakers and land managers who must place priorities on recreation and other social benefits of natural areas. The data from the Sumpter National Forest in South Carolina and the Greek city of Thessaloniki demonstrate that across cultures these results are universal, to some extent, and suggest the need to expand comparisons across other related leisure contexts.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Texas A&M University
  • The University of New South Wales