ParkExperienceMap (UC Berkeley)

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To survive, California’s National Parks must become relevant to people of diverse cultural backgrounds. But even as California’s population continues to diversify, people of culturally diverse backgrounds have been less likely to use National Parks and other public lands than others. If the percentage of African Americans and Hispanics who visit, volunteer, donate and lobby for parks does not increase, California’s parks could face substantial gaps in funding and support as its population becomes more diverse. Drawing on ten years of research describing what brings underserved populations into parks, this team proposes implementing ParkExperienceMap, an online participatory mapping system for creating custom visitor and staff-authored park maps, to be distributed both online and in print. ParkExperienceMap will harness crowd-sourcing and paper-based interfaces to provide park maps to underserved populations while simultaneously gathering their thoughts on the park experience. Working with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, they will build and test whether this application can encourage visits by under-served minority groups.

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