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Summer Wrap-Up RenĂŠ Schulze Memorial Park Conservancy Summer Intern 2016


 I am from Conroe, Texas  I am a Junior at Texas A&M University  Urban and Regional Planning

Introduction

 Minor in Park and Natural Resource Management  Minor in Sustainable Architecture and Planning

 I love sports and the outdoors, going to hometown restaurants, and reading when I get the chance  I leave in two weeks to study abroad in Bonn, Germany


My Summer as an Intern


Introduction

A Snapshot of Trail Users

One of the most popular amenities Memorial Park offers are the wilderness trails located on the south side of the Park. The project aims to shed light on the users and uses of the trails by piloting an inventory method. Goals  Gain knowledge of trail users  Identify different types of trail uses  Understand key features and benefits notes among users groups


Timeframe  10 Week internship, approximately 6 weeks dedicated to research

Methods

A Snapshot of Trail Users

 Met with park directors and administrators to discuss the needs of the park regarding information about trail users  Designed an online survey using Qualtrics Survey Software and made five survey signs with a QR Code  The signs were placed at three trail heads of the south side Memorial Park trails  The survey was open for 23 days and collected 16 responses


Who Were the Respondents?

GENDER

AGE

TRAIL ACTIVITIES PARTICIPATED IN

• Mostly men who responded • Highest age groups: 25-34 and 56-64 • Hiking and Trail Running were the most recorded trail activities


Inventory Findings

TIME SPENT ON THE TRAIL IN A SINGLE USE

PERCEIVED BENEFITS FROM TRAIL USE

• Over half of the respondents spend 1-2 hours on the trail in a single use • Physical health and enjoying nature we the top perceived benefits • 6 out of 14 people use the trails “a few times a week” RUGLARITY OF TRAIL USE


What features of the trails do you appreciate?


Trail Runners “[I] like the roughness of the terrain and elevation changes.” “It’s not [as] congested as other running trails.” Mountain Bikers “Wild and less occupied.” “Options and variety of terrain.”

Hikers “The seclusion from city noise, quiet, and access to nature.” “You feel like you are in a forest in the middle of a city.”

Bird Watchers “There are a fair number of birds here.” “The vastness of the area.”

Dog Walkers

Other

“During the week early in the morning there is a nice community of dog walkers.”

“[I] like the relative solitude of these trails as compared to the more popular and social trails.”


Nature

Variety

“Wild and less occupied.” Mountain Biker

“Nature trails with trees and bushes.”

What makes the trails unique?

Hiker

“Lots of variety of species and smells.” Dog Walker

Technical Challenge

“Variation of difficulty.” “Technical sections.” Hiker

“You can run a couple miles or a short distance all at the same place.” Trail Runner

Mountain Biker

“Terrain gives you a nice workout.” Hiker

“The vastness of the area.” “Roughness of the terrain and elevation changes.” Bird Watcher

Trail Runner


Methodology  Survey created using Qualtrics  Designed signs on computer and made prints  Positioned on yard signs using clear adhesive contact paper  3 placed at trail heads, 2 further into the trails

Trail Survey Logistics

 Open for 23 days, collected 16 responses

Supplies  5 Coroplast blank signs (18”L x 24”W)  5 H-frame sign stands  10 paper prints of sign  Laminate adhesive shelf liner  Online survey through Qualtrics


PROS and CONS

PROS

CONS

 Inexpensive

 Summer heat, summer vacation

 Online surveys are simple to use

 Not everyone has a QRC scanner

 Collects data from people on the trails

 Need to be able to use a smart phone

 Signs are mobile

 Two signs were stolen

 Good starting point for MPC

 “Convenience Sample”

 Quick to get user feedback

 Unclear response rate


 Try inventory during a different season  Heat  Vacation

 Have professionally printed signs

Future Research

 Conduct an intercept survey  Send survey to user groups  Future questions  What time of day are they using the trails  Where do they typically start from  How they prefer to give feedback


Recap  Urban Planning Student  Graduate in Fall 2017 Skills I’ve Advanced In

Future Application

 Research  Writing  Team Work  Critical Thinking and Problem Solving  On the Job Experience  Self Confidence


---Thank you for your attention. Any Questions? ----

Memorial Park Trail User Survey  

Prepared by Rene Schulze, 2016 Intern

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