Presentation Title

Trail Impact Monitoring in Forest Park

Abstract




Trail based recreation may be the most valued ecosystem service in Portland’s Forest Park. A recent visitor use study found “trails” to be the highest valued park feature over “forests” and other natural features, while estimating annual park usage numbers approaching a half million visits (Elliot et al., 2012). Unfortunately many trails were built too steep and weren’t designed for such usage levels. Parks & Recreation (PPR) managers cite the Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan (FPNRMP) and other guiding documents in recognizing the need for significant trail maintenance and relocation efforts to reduce unnecessary ecological impacts (Gronowski et al., 1995). In response I’ve partnered with PPR to develop an objective trail impact assessment for Forest Park.

I plan to fill the need for objective trail impact monitoring by conducting a point sampling survey with indicator observation methods and statistical analyses derived from research completed by recreation ecologists in natural areas across the United States (Marion & Wimpey, 2017). Results will provide critical baseline data and recommendations which will inform environmental reviews and justify acquisition of funds required to implement trail improvement projects. Improvement of trail infrastructure will not only decrease impacts and support recreation, it will also promote diversity and inclusion by supporting recreation for all. Historically natural areas have been enjoyed disproportionately by the privileged leading people and color and others to miss the scientific benefits of exercising and relaxing in green space. As we encourage inclusion in parks, recreation infrastructure must be improved to meet demand while preserving the resource.

Elliot, D., & others. (2012). Forest Park Recreation Survey. Portland State University and City of Portland. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/317545

Gronowski, N., Sjulin, J., & Brooks, T. (1995). Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan. City of Portland. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/103939

Marion, J. L., & Wimpey, J. (2017). Assessing the influence of sustainable trail design and maintenance on soil loss. Journal of environmental management, 189, 46-57.

Subjects

Land/watershed management, Land use planning, Habitat restoration, Soil science

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33822

Rights

© Copyright the author(s)

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Trail Impact Monitoring in Forest Park




Trail based recreation may be the most valued ecosystem service in Portland’s Forest Park. A recent visitor use study found “trails” to be the highest valued park feature over “forests” and other natural features, while estimating annual park usage numbers approaching a half million visits (Elliot et al., 2012). Unfortunately many trails were built too steep and weren’t designed for such usage levels. Parks & Recreation (PPR) managers cite the Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan (FPNRMP) and other guiding documents in recognizing the need for significant trail maintenance and relocation efforts to reduce unnecessary ecological impacts (Gronowski et al., 1995). In response I’ve partnered with PPR to develop an objective trail impact assessment for Forest Park.

I plan to fill the need for objective trail impact monitoring by conducting a point sampling survey with indicator observation methods and statistical analyses derived from research completed by recreation ecologists in natural areas across the United States (Marion & Wimpey, 2017). Results will provide critical baseline data and recommendations which will inform environmental reviews and justify acquisition of funds required to implement trail improvement projects. Improvement of trail infrastructure will not only decrease impacts and support recreation, it will also promote diversity and inclusion by supporting recreation for all. Historically natural areas have been enjoyed disproportionately by the privileged leading people and color and others to miss the scientific benefits of exercising and relaxing in green space. As we encourage inclusion in parks, recreation infrastructure must be improved to meet demand while preserving the resource.

Elliot, D., & others. (2012). Forest Park Recreation Survey. Portland State University and City of Portland. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/317545

Gronowski, N., Sjulin, J., & Brooks, T. (1995). Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan. City of Portland. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/103939

Marion, J. L., & Wimpey, J. (2017). Assessing the influence of sustainable trail design and maintenance on soil loss. Journal of environmental management, 189, 46-57.