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Users' Perceptions Of The Design And Value Of Hiking Trail Systems: A Comparison From National, State, And Regional Parks

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Users' Perceptions Of The Design And Value Of Hiking Trail Systems: A Comparison From National, State, And Regional Parks

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dc.contributor.author Hooker, Richard Wayne en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2008-04-22T02:41:33Z
dc.date.available 2008-04-22T02:41:33Z
dc.date.issued 2008-04-22T02:41:33Z
dc.date.submitted November 2007 en_US
dc.identifier.other DISS-1897 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10106/714
dc.description.abstract Hiking trail systems are added to many park plans by today's landscape architects. Hiking trails are defined in this thesis as paths and trails, improved or unimproved, in park areas where nature is the primary environment, rather than of an urban environment in which sidewalks are the main areas that the public uses to walk and exercise. This thesis examines how the users of hiking trails perceive existing trail system designs and the value users acquire from well designed trails. Hiking trail users are motivated by improving physical health, relieving mental stress and enjoying scenery. This study looks at three different-sized parks: national, state, and regional. The hiking trails for these parks vary in type and construction. The study also supports the notion that public input is needed in the renovation of hiking trail systems. It suggests that public input on the renovation of older parks with hiking trails is needed to guide landscape architects toward the connection between hiking trail systems and better physical and mental health of the users. Increasing the public use of the hiking trails gives the landscape architect more opportunities to educate the public on environmental issues in the park. "The more visitors understand a park's features, the more they appreciate them, the more likely they will care for them and by caring, the chances of the park as a whole being protected are greatly enhanced. Human appreciation is, therefore, "value added" to parks "(Harmon and Putney, 2003). This research uses a combination of participant observations and quantitative surveys conducted on-site. The study identifies the users of the trail systems, and key elements of a well-designed trail system that can guide future design. These include structures, trail surfaces, signage, maintenance of landscape, and the health, safety and welfare of the public. Showing the connection between parks with hiking trails and a healthier population encourages the city and national planners to create more trail systems in green space areas. Every city and state has ongoing efforts to improve and expand the amount of their green space. Getting the public to back these initiatives is more easily accomplished by publishing studies that indicate the value to the public. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Taylor, Pat en_US
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher Landscape Architecture en_US
dc.title Users' Perceptions Of The Design And Value Of Hiking Trail Systems: A Comparison From National, State, And Regional Parks en_US
dc.type M.L.A. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeChair Taylor, Pat en_US
dc.degree.department Landscape Architecture en_US
dc.degree.discipline Landscape Architecture en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of Texas at Arlington en_US
dc.degree.level masters en_US
dc.degree.name M.L.A. en_US
dc.identifier.externalLink https://www.uta.edu/ra/real/editprofile.php?onlyview=1&pid=1152
dc.identifier.externalLinkDescription Link to Research Profiles

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