Pandemic Park Use (12-30-20)

The number of people visiting parks has increased during the pandemic, with design-related implications. Fisher, Grima, Sommer, Corcoran, Hill-James, and Langton conducted a study, published in PLoS One, which determined that “26% of people visiting parks during early months of the COVID-19 pandemic had rarely – or never – visited nature in the previous year. . . . According to the findings, nearly 70% of park users increased their visits to local nature. . . . . While 27% of people reduced their group size when visiting nature, another 11% of visitors increased their group size. This aligns with the 17% of respondents who reported that natural areas allowed them safe spaces to socialize during COVID-19. Park users’ most common reasons for visiting natural areas and parks were: getting outside, exercise, connecting to nature, finding peace and quiet, birding, dog walking, and time with children. Researchers found that 66% of people used these natural areas to find peace and quiet, and 32% reported these places as spaces for contemplation, activities that have been shown to reduce stress.”

“New Nature Lover?  It’s a COVID-19 Side Effect.”  2020.  Press release, The University of Vermont, https://www.uvm.edu/rsenr/news/new-nature-lover-its-covid-19-side-effect