2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Awareness, Perception, and Usage of Local Parks by College Students


Noah A. Smentkowski
Dr. Victoria Mayer, Faculty Mentor

Local parks are public resources meant to engage those within an urban setting with a natural environment, endorsing healthy activity. This study was conducted to measure rates of local park use by Truman State University students, their perceptions of the parks, and the effects of park visitation, for the Kirksville, MO, Parks and Recreation Department. 192 students were surveyed with opinion and descriptive based questions in 10 randomly selected undergraduate classes. The majority of respondents had never visited a local park. Of those who did, the primary predictor was learning of location through social interaction. Local parks were seen to be inherently beneficial to local communities and the primary reason for use was mental rejuvenation. The parks visited ranked well in cleanliness, maintenance and safety, though needing improvement in infrastructure and equipment, suggesting further development and outreach programs by the local government to foster further use by college students.

Keywords: Local parks, mental rejuvenation

Topic(s):Sociology
Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 308-2
Location: MC 209
Time: 1:45

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