Presentation Title

Using Data and Stories to Understand Personal Connections to Nature and Attachment to Place

Start Date

5-2-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2018 10:10 AM

Abstract

Metro conducted two studies to better understand perspectives of people of color in parks and nature. A region-wide survey conducted in partnership with Oregon State University resulted in statistically significant data representative of residents across the region. Meanwhile, community engagement invited people of color to share their experiences of nature through a series of workshops. This session will explore how these data and stories deepen our understanding of what it means to facilitate connections between people and nature. • Seventy-eight percent agreed that their favorite Metro park or natural area facilitates social bonding, and 68% agreed that their favorite park fosters emotional connections to place. Workshop participants described the importance of spending time outside with friends and family. • Ninety-four percent report feeling a connection with nature when visiting their favorite Metro park. When asked “what words or short phrases would you associate with the word "nature”, the most common themes focused on nature as a place that provides a sense of calm, relaxation and tranquility. There were no clear differences between responses of people of color and white people. Workshop participants portrayed nature as healing, peaceful and rejuvenating • People of color were significantly more interested than white people in the hands-on experience of caring for trails; harvesting seeds or planting native plants; storytelling in nature; and in learning how agencies manage and care for public land. Workshop participants expressed the desire to help actively care for the land and foster respect for public space in their own communities.

Presentation Option

Yes

Subjects

Environmental social sciences

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Feb 5th, 10:00 AM Feb 5th, 10:10 AM

Using Data and Stories to Understand Personal Connections to Nature and Attachment to Place

Metro conducted two studies to better understand perspectives of people of color in parks and nature. A region-wide survey conducted in partnership with Oregon State University resulted in statistically significant data representative of residents across the region. Meanwhile, community engagement invited people of color to share their experiences of nature through a series of workshops. This session will explore how these data and stories deepen our understanding of what it means to facilitate connections between people and nature. • Seventy-eight percent agreed that their favorite Metro park or natural area facilitates social bonding, and 68% agreed that their favorite park fosters emotional connections to place. Workshop participants described the importance of spending time outside with friends and family. • Ninety-four percent report feeling a connection with nature when visiting their favorite Metro park. When asked “what words or short phrases would you associate with the word "nature”, the most common themes focused on nature as a place that provides a sense of calm, relaxation and tranquility. There were no clear differences between responses of people of color and white people. Workshop participants portrayed nature as healing, peaceful and rejuvenating • People of color were significantly more interested than white people in the hands-on experience of caring for trails; harvesting seeds or planting native plants; storytelling in nature; and in learning how agencies manage and care for public land. Workshop participants expressed the desire to help actively care for the land and foster respect for public space in their own communities.