An examination of Georgia state park stakeholders’ outdoor recreation preferences, motivations, benefits, and perceived Constraints by social and cultural demographics
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The composition of the United States population is estimated to grow and become more diverse in the not-to-distance future due to the increasing number of racial/ethnic minorities. These potential dramatic changes in population composition present a significant challenge to the management of public lands. For instance, research suggests Hispanics and African Americans are less likely to participate in outdoor recreation activities than other racial groups (i.e., Anglos). Other studies have shown that Hispanics and African Americans have different preferences for outdoor recreation than those traditionally embraced by the White majority (Baas, Ewert, & Chavez, 1993; Cronan, Shinew, & Stodolska, 2008). Other studies suggest motivations influencing outdoor recreation participation differ by race/ethnicity (Kyle, Mowen, & Tarrant, 2004; Walker, Deng, & Dieser, 2001;). Differences between racial/ethnic groups are also seen in the perceived benefits outdoor recreation participation (Evans, 2007; Kocis, Kruger, Mazza, Lawrence, 2007). Recognizing the differences between preferences, motivations, and perceived benefits is important as many racial/ethnic groups encounter recreation constraints that affect their use of public lands. Public land managers are interested in better understanding the recreational constraints of these groups in order to provide recreational services that more closely meet the needs of all their stakeholders. Subsequently, this study examined the outdoor recreation preferences, motivations, benefits, and perceived constraints of visitors, especially ethnic minority users, to three state parks in Georgia (i.e., Fort Mountain, Red Top Mountain, and Fort Yargo). The results of this study may prove useful to state park managers attempting to understand their clientele of racial/ethnic backgrounds. Results from this study may also influencing park management plans and the facilities and services they provide.