Youth & Parks: A Participant Action Research Project
Learning how youth think about and enjoy nature in regional parks
To date, no study has been conducted that informs policy about the needs, motivations, and use barriers for youth to access the Regional Park System. Young people’s access to the Regional Parks System is crucial to reach the goals of the 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan. Parks and open space offer young people multiple health and recreational benefits. Further, the Regional Park System depends on ongoing public support for the Parks and Trails System: today’s youth will create this future shared dedication to preserve high-quality natural resources.
A research collaborative of youth-serving nonprofit organizations, youth and parent/guardian participants, university students, and Council research staff will generate and gather data using qualitative methods, such as in-park focus groups and observational field study. This study will explore access, priorities, and barriers experienced by youth.
Creating fun and well-being for youth through enjoyment of the Regional Park System
Building equitable youth and community use with the Regional Park System
Providing park implementing agencies with credible, needed data
Valuing community expertise through innovative methods, compensation, sharing credit for work, and decision-making power in the process across the team
Building youth capacity for civic engagement and research
Building a diverse pipeline of future researchers
Spreading the word about what youth think about and experience in the Regional Park System
Read the Youth & Parks Research Proposal (pdf) or learn more from this Youth & Parks slide deck, presented July 9, 2019 to the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission.