Who isn’t going to Vermont’s state parks, and why?
Existing research points to public lands being disproportionately visited by white, wealthy, and able-bodied people. The Park Access Survey, developed in collaboration with VPF intern Nina Rizzi and students enrolled in the University of Vermont’s Environmental Problem-Solving course, is seeking survey respondents from communities that have been marginalized in outdoor spaces, including but not limited to BIPOC Americans, New Americans/Immigrants, and individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
To refer a group or organization to this survey or to help distribute this survey, please reach out via email to coordinate with Nina.
If you, or someone you care for, have not been able to enjoy all that Vermont’s state parks offer, please click the button below to take the survey.
Vermont Parks Forever hopes to use the data garnered from this survey to understand specific barriers to accessing Vermont’s state parks. Survey respondents will be given the opportunity to provide their email address anonymously. Those who provide an email address will be entered to win free day-entry passes to the parks.
To read Nina’s full story and experience with the survey, read below:
My work with Vermont Parks Forever (VPF) began when my senior capstone group at UVM was tasked with a complex question by the executive director of VPF: “Who isn’t going to Vermont State Parks, and why?” In our research, existing national data provided us with concrete evidence of what so many have noted from personal experience: that American public lands (and the outdoors in general) are visited by disproportionately white, wealthy, as well as able bodied people. My group came to the decision that the way to answer the VPF question was to create a survey on park access. Because we are operating with the acknowledgement that BIPOC Americans, New Americans/Immigrants, and individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities have been marginalized in recreational outdoor spaces and communities nationwide, we are focusing our survey outreach on organizations within Vermont that work directly with and for those same communities. Our hope is that the data from this survey will illuminate specific barriers to accessing Vermont state parks for these communities, ultimately resulting in suggestions for improvement within the parks.
To show VPF’s appreciation to respondents taking the time to complete our survey, at the end of the survey, respondents will have the option to provide their email (anonymously in a separate Google form) to be entered into a drawing to win free day-entry park passes for their family or household. There will be at least 300 passes available through the drawing. As a non-profit with limited resources, free park passes are the best compensation we are able to offer on a large scale. However, we are open to suggestions of other forms of compensation that may be within our reach that we have not considered!
Thank you again for your time. You can view the Park Access survey here. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the next steps to distribute the survey to your community, or if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you!