Date

4-29-2020

Description

For many years, outdoor recreation has been an important part of American life. The numerous benefits of outdoor recreation include a general increase in health and practice of a unique skillset which creates a greater sense of self-efficacy for individuals in outdoor spaces. However, not everyone has access to outdoor recreation. Within the outdoor community lies a barrier that affects people of color and underrepresented communities including: the queer community, "unlikely hikers" (individuals who face a physical stigma in outdoor spaces), lower income communities, mentally ill individuals, etc. The purpose of this study is to discover what the barriers behind accessing spaces of outdoor recreation are for the aforementioned underrepresented communities. We will be conducting a cross-sectional study of enrolled Westminster College students utilizing a questionnaire that will assess the perception of barriers to participation in outdoor recreation. We will also conduct a focus group analyses to evaluate how best to reshape outdoor recreation to allow for less barriers and increased access. An outdoor recreational environment that allows for more access will ultimately result in a more universally accessible outdoor recreation community that is ever-growing with the greater amount of participation. This will then bolster the outdoor recreation industry, bring new exposure to outdoor spaces for all people regardless of socioeconomic status or preexisting physical conditions, bring additional revenue to Utah's outdoor tourism industry, and reshape discussions surrounding the outdoors for generations to come.

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM

Barred From the Outdoors: Barriers to Participation Among Underrepresented Populations in Outdoor Recreation

For many years, outdoor recreation has been an important part of American life. The numerous benefits of outdoor recreation include a general increase in health and practice of a unique skillset which creates a greater sense of self-efficacy for individuals in outdoor spaces. However, not everyone has access to outdoor recreation. Within the outdoor community lies a barrier that affects people of color and underrepresented communities including: the queer community, "unlikely hikers" (individuals who face a physical stigma in outdoor spaces), lower income communities, mentally ill individuals, etc. The purpose of this study is to discover what the barriers behind accessing spaces of outdoor recreation are for the aforementioned underrepresented communities. We will be conducting a cross-sectional study of enrolled Westminster College students utilizing a questionnaire that will assess the perception of barriers to participation in outdoor recreation. We will also conduct a focus group analyses to evaluate how best to reshape outdoor recreation to allow for less barriers and increased access. An outdoor recreational environment that allows for more access will ultimately result in a more universally accessible outdoor recreation community that is ever-growing with the greater amount of participation. This will then bolster the outdoor recreation industry, bring new exposure to outdoor spaces for all people regardless of socioeconomic status or preexisting physical conditions, bring additional revenue to Utah's outdoor tourism industry, and reshape discussions surrounding the outdoors for generations to come.