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Journal of Forestry

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Public Lands, Outdoor Recreation


Health benefits of outdoor recreation have been broadly demonstrated and land managers recognize the equity implications of providing safe and inclusive outdoor spaces. Data on public lands visitation and outdoor participation show that Hispanic recreationists are less likely to engage in outdoor leisure than White persons. Early studies of outdoor preferences of Hispanic persons identified a desire for large-group settings and social activities. To update our understanding of outdoor recreation needs, preferences, and constraints, we collaborated with a Latinx organization in Portland, Oregon (USA). We collaboratively designed three focus groups that combined structured engagement, cognitive sorting, and participatory mapping to elicit desired outdoor activities and settings and identify constraints and opportunities. Results suggest that urban Hispanic recreationists seek a variety of human-powered, motorized, and contemplative outdoor activities and gravitate toward familiar settings. Predominant barriers relate to a lack of experience with outdoor activities and gear and lack of exposure to public land settings.

Study Implications: Early studies about Hispanic outdoor participation emphasized preferences for social activities in group settings. Urban Hispanic recreationists in our study sought a diversity of human-powered, motorized, and contemplative outdoor activities. Guided group outings and Spanish-language materials were identified as steps to increase participation. Barriers included a lack of awareness of prospective recreation sites, the absence of recreation partners, and unfamiliarity with outdoor gear. Agencies seeking to enhance access may gain the greatest efficiencies by enabling guided group events providing gear, instruction, and companionship. Outreach efforts in Spanish detailing information about setting and safety features would be well received.


This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.



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