Ohio outdoor recreation survey results detailed

COLUMBUS — Earlier this year, Ohio residents were asked to share experiences and opinions regarding their favorite outdoor recreation activities on public lands, such as local and state parks, nature preserves, wildlife and forestry areas and federal lands.

They also were asked about their level of participation and new or expanded facilities they would like to see in Ohio.

Feedback from the public survey helps park districts, communities and nature preserve, wildlife and forestry managers understand outdoor recreation trends in Ohio and set priorities for funding and improvements.

Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs’ final report for the 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan survey is available at parks.ohiodnr.gov/research.

OU analyzed 5,059 completed surveys from respondents from all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The survey and the SCORP are funded with assistance from the National Park Service, and the full SCORP report will be available in 2018.

Survey results include:

• Eighty-two percent of respondents stated recreational facilities are very important to the enjoyment of outdoor activities in Ohio.

• Fun and entertainment are the main reasons for outdoor recreation on public lands. Respondents also cited time with family and friends and experiencing nature, quiet and serenity.

• Ohioans participating in wildlife activities favored wildlife viewing, nature photography and bird watching.

• Camping responses indicated tent and pop-up campers were more popular than other types of camping vehicles, with more than 46 percent responding they enjoyed camping to share time with family and friends.

• All forms of trail activities received high responses, with nearly 51 percent of respondents stating they participated for health, wellness and fitness.

• Canoeing and kayaking are the most frequent boating activities.

• Ohioans prioritized outdoor recreation facilities they would like to have more of in Ohio. The top-ranked facilities focused on trails (natural surface, paved and water); wildlife viewing and birding areas; and undeveloped campgrounds.

The SCORP informs the grant application scoring process among worthy projects proposed by public outdoor recreation providers.

More information is available at parks.ohiodnr.gov/research.