RDG in the Media: Evolving Community Engagement to Create Better Parks and Trails

November 18, 2022
Landscape Architecture Sustainability Parks & Open Space

In the latest issue of Recreation Management Magazine, RDG’s Molly Hanson shares how community engagement is more important than ever in working to create better parks and trails. 

With the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, the importance of outdoor spaces such as parks and trails became more evident. People were eager to get outside and increasingly relied on these spaces to exercise, safely socialize and gain a sense of peace and calm. Across the country, some trail usage spike to levels more than 200% higher compared to pre-pandemic times according to data from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The COVID-19 pandemic inspired marked participation growth and gains in outdoor experiences, leading to marked benefits to physical and mental health. 

Jester Park Nature Center Natural Playscape in Granger, Iowa by RDG. Photo by IRIS22 Productions.

In the latest issue of Recreation Management Magazine, RDG’s Conservation and Community Outreach Specialist Molly Hanson explains that even though there was participation growth in outdoor activities, half of the U.S. population did not share in the positive health outcomes due to inequities in access to outdoor spaces. She highlights tactics and techniques that can lead to meaningful community engagement, create lasting change and help ensure equitable access to outdoor spaces. 

Click to read Hanson’s full article in the November 2022 issue of Recreation Management Magazine. 

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director