Friday, January 3, 2014

IU School of Public Health students report on local park program and facility usage

IU SPH students are often asked to step outside the classroom and apply course concepts in a real world context and explore ways to improve health locally as well as on a state, national, and international level. In November, a group of IU students presented findings from a course project designed to examine four different Bloomington park programs specifically targeting the city’s softball leagues, arts events, senior citizens activities, and the B-Line Trail. Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard the reports based on surveys taken by the students of local resident users. 

Students studying the city’s B-Line trail found that less residents were using the trail for walking as they were for biking, and that users in general were predominantly white. Another group looked into the motivation of participants in the city’s softball leagues, and found that socialization outranked exercise as the motivating factor for getting involved. Paula McDevitt, Recreation Services Director for the Parks Department, said information like this could help the department as it does long-term planning.

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