Stephanie Coulson (2)

Talking to CRD regional parks visitors: Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Parks is implementing a survey program to systematically document public opinion towards regional parks and trails in southern Vancouver Island. Between June and September 2018, seven parks were canvassed for a total of 756 visitors surveyed. The purpose of conducting visitor use surveys in regional parks and trails was to better understand the values, attitudes, satisfaction levels, and use patterns of visitors, as well as to obtain feedback on current park management practices. Preliminary data from the survey will be presented to discuss the emerging characteristics and drivers of several significant user groups within regional parks. Values, use patterns, desired experiences, and preferences for park management strategies vary across user groups, with key themes emerging around mountain bike users and back-country recreationalists in particular. These findings demonstrate how the collection of visitor use data can contribute valuable insight and meaning to protected areas management and planning, while offering a deeper knowledge of the values that motivate people to experience nature close to home.