College of the Rockies students have taken an in-depth look at who exactly is using Cranbrook’s Community Forest.
Students in the Tourism and Recreation Management program conducted a survey alongside the local Forest Society to learn what demographics frequent the local trails and why.
Instructor Grant Unger says about 120 surveys were conducted, with the primary users all over 50 years of age.
“Research was done in the winter, so we were primarily getting hikers and skiers,” Unger says. “Demographically, the primary group was people between the ages of 50 and 60, but also that was daytime use as well.”
The Forest Society can now use the survey results to help with funding applications.
“This is baseline data for them that they had not collected in the past,” Unger says. “So its really a starting point and they will be able to use this research to build future research projects and find out what users want the forest for and what activities they would like to participate in.”
Unger says the project helps students prepare for work in their field by providing real-life experience with tourist hot stops locally.
– College of the Rockies Tourism and Recreation Management Instructor, Grant Unger
– Jeff Johnson