This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Alabama Pilot Survey for a New National Outdoor Recreation Survey Focusing on Minority Access and Views




Groetsch, Caitlin

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


Since 2014, the agencies tasked with managing our outdoor recreation sites have experienced a knowledge gap caused by the discontinuation of the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE), which was previously the main data collection tool assessing national outdoor recreation trends for state and federal agencies. Outdoor recreation is an important part of how people interact with nature, with greater interaction with nature being shown to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, however more data is needed to determine the gaps in access to outdoor recreation nationwide. We developed pilot survey in Alabama to potentially replace the NSRE utilizing an online panel survey to test the gaps in Black and White outdoor recreation participation, outdoor recreation motivations and constraints, and valuation of ecosystem services. We found that there are significant differences in how Black and White Alabama citizens perceive the outdoors and outdoor recreation, however found that more participated in outdoor recreation than other studies have found. By expanding the definition of outdoor recreation, we were able to find more participants, and this data could provide managers opportunities to provide minority populations with novel outdoor recreation opportunities.