BCPARF 2022

Day 3: Concurrent Session 12

Focus on People

Session Moderator: Craig Paulson

People with Mobility Impairments Accessing Parks: Exploring Survey Results

Presenter: Craig Paulson - BC Parks

Abstract:

BC Parks and SPARC BC partnered to conduct a mixed-method survey about the experiences people with mobility limitations have accessing and enjoying BC Parks. The survey was designed to identify preferred activities and barriers to participation, and the results are applicable to all park jurisdictions because respondents did not differentiate between municipal, regional, provincial, or national parks. Survey results indicate people living with disabilities experience them in combination with other issues that create complicated barriers both inside and outside of the park experience. Age, independence, social and family relationships, health status and economic position shaped the respondents’ desire and opportunities to visit any park. Before arriving in a park, the main barriers centered around availability of transportation options, reliance on personal care networks to plan and visit, proximity to park space, and the cost of visiting parks. Survey results inform key opportunities for park agencies interested in making their parks more accessible. The highest priority facilities identified in the survey were accessibility of pathways, parking, and toilets in parks nearest to municipalities or urban areas and alternative transportation options.

Contributors:

  • Lorraine Copas, SPARC BC
  • Diandra Oliver, BC Parks Youth Intern

Acknowledgements:

SPARC BC partnership support

The ‘Healthy Parks-Healthy People’ Movement in Canada: Progress, Challenges, and an Emerging Knowledge and Action Agenda

Presenter: Catherine Reining - Wilfrid Laurier University and The University of Western Ontario

No recording available

Abstract:

Despite an expanding global evidence base, case studies focused on aspects of health and well-being within Canada’s protected and conserved areas remain limited. Data pertaining to motivations, barriers and experiences of visitors are often not collected by governing agencies and, if collected, are not made generally available or reported on. There is an obvious, large gap in research and action focused on the needs and rights of groups facing systematic barriers related to a variety of issues including, but not limited to, access, nature experiences, and needs with respect to health and well-being outcomes. Activation of programs at the site level continue to grow, and represent significant, positive examples of recent cross-sector policy integration. Evaluations of outcomes associated with HPHP programs have not yet occurred but will be important to adapting interventions and informing cross-sector capacity building. This presentation reports on progress and challenges in establishing effective health promotion tied to visitor experiences provided by protected and conserved areas, highlighting examples of current and ongoing efforts, and concludes with an overview of gaps in evidence and practice that, if addressed, can lead to more effective human health promotion vis-à-vis nature contact in protected and conserved areas in Canada.

Contributors:

  • Christopher Lemieux, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Mark Groulx, University of Northern British ColumbiaRachel BuxtonCarleton University
  • Clara-Jane (CJ) Blye, University of Alberta 
  • Nadha Hassen, York University
  • Sara-Lynn (Penina) Harding, University of Northern British Columbia
  • Elizabeth A. Halpenny, University of Alberta 
  • Melissa Lem, PaRx 
  • Sonya L. Jakubec, Mount Royal University 
  • Pamela Wright, University of Northern British Columbia 
  • Tonya Makletzoff, Government of Northwest Territories 
  • Mara Kerry, Parks Canada
  • Karen Keenlyside, #NatureForAll (IUCN)
  • Pascale van der Leest, Parks Canada
  • Jill Buddefeld, Wilfrid Laurier University 
  • Raynald (Harvey) Lemelin, Lakehead University
  • Don Carruthers Den Hoed, CPCIL
  • Brad Steinberg, Ontario Parks
  • Rike Moon, BC Parks 
  • Jacqueline Scott, University of Toronto 
  • Jennifer Grant, BC Parks
  • Zahrah Khan, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Dawn Carr, Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Lisa McLaughlin, Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Richard Krehbiel, University of Northern British Columbia

Acknowledgements:

The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency, organization, or employer.

Westwood Ridge, Conflicting Place Meanings and Natural Resource Management

Presenter: Matthew Bowes - Vancouver Island University, Department of Geography and Global Studies

Abstract:

Place meanings are an element of the political, economic, and social process involved in land-use decision making. The values and meanings attached to specific places are, often, multiple, and conflicting, creating special challenges for land managers. Recognizing the range of meanings is important to planning because place meanings and values are connected to the acceptability of land use decisions by different user groups. This study reports on the process of the 2022 land acquisition by the City of Nanaimo, of Westwood Ridge, adjacent to Westwood Lake Park. Forest land in the Nanaimo wildland/urban interface is unique, falling within the 6% of privately owned forest lands in Canada. Owned by a logging company Westwood Ridge is an important area for recreational activities such as hiking and biking and was slated to be logged, impacting the recreation and conservation values of the Westwood Ridge, the City of Nanaimo, and its residents. Focus groups were conducted with stakeholders to elicit place meanings of Westwood ridge and gain insight into the process of land acquisition. Post land acquisition research is in progress.

Acknowledgements:

Vancouver Island University Social Sciences Research Fund

A Three-pronged Approach for Identifying Quality of Life and Wellbeing Indicators in Parks

Presenter: Lane Arthur - University of Montana: Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management Program

Abstract:

Parks and protected areas have been well known to support quality of life and well-being for those who visit them. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, parks were a place to find solitude, rest, and reconnection. Despite a growing interest on learning more about how parks and protected areas provide these benefits, little guidance has been provided in literature on how to identify which related outcomes are important to users of a given park. This research attempts to showcase a proof-of-concept for a process to identify quality of life and well-being outcomes of visitors by utilizing a three-pronged approach to assess visitor questionnaires obtaining, 1) the five most salient outcome domains reported by users, 2) qualitative data pointing to outcome indicators within each outcome domain, and 3) spatial data outlining where participants obtained identified outcomes. By using this three-pronged approach, park and protected area managers can identify quality of life and well-being outcomes that are currently salient to visitors and can then plan to manage these areas to maximize positive outcomes. By utilizing management tactics like these, parks and protected areas can continue to be places that give us many benefits both physically and mentally.

Contributors:

  • Dr. William L. Rice, University of Montana Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management Program
  • Deonne VanderWoude, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
  • Heidi Seidel, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Acknowledgements:

The land where this study was conducted is on the ancestral homelands and unceded territory of Indigenous Peoples who have traversed, lived in and stewarded lands in the Boulder Valley since time immemorial. Those Indigenous Nations include the: Di De’i (Apache), Hinono’eiteen (Arapaho), Tsistsistas (Cheyenne), Nʉmʉnʉʉ(Comanche), Kiowa, Čariks i Čariks (Pawnee), Sosonih (Shoshone), Oc’eti S’akowin (Sioux) and Núuchiu (Ute). Funding for this research was provided through a grant from the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Presenter: Alison Whiting -  University Health Network

Abstract:

Improving accessibility of Canada’s National Parks for people with disabilities – SLAM (3 minute update)

Contributors:

  • Tilak Dutta, KITE-UHN 
  • Neha Dewan, KITE-UHN

Acknowledgements:

Our work takes place on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Thanks to the members of the Engineering Health team at KITE-UHN for their feedback as we’ve progressed through our project and to Accessible Standards Canada for the funding to make this work possible. 

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