Outdoor Recreation Study Maps the Places People Love
Many Oregon and Washington residents report participating in outdoor recreation. Through a novel study using citizen mapping exercises, a Forest Service scientist studied trends in recreation and other ways that humans value the natural landscape. She set up booths at more than a dozen farmers’ markets in the greater Seattle region, including rural communities, and displayed a large map of King County. People put dots on the map to show places they favored in their free time for outdoor recreation, and answered questions such as, “Where do you go most often? What do you do there? How much time do you spend there?” More than 500 people participated, yielding thousands of data points that can be used to reveal patterns. Capturing this information at farmers’ markets was a good opportunity to reach a cross-section of people whose views might not otherwise be heard by federal land management agencies. This research could play a valuable role in helping these agencies enhance public access and recreation opportunities.
Forest Service Partners