Early in season/Cold Days- As a group we have faced some challenges collecting data and performing site work due to the rainy and cold conditions. Poor weather contributes to low park participation numbers and a lack of available individuals to conduct surveys and behavioral map. Fewer people are likely to be seen running and walking their dogs on the island due to the inclement weather conditions and winter weather mentality, and rainy days contribute to a lack of kayakers and rafters on the James River, and muddy soil has caused some of the bike course to be roped off
Defining “park usage”
There is a lot of overlap between different ways people use the space in a park, not too mention some people come to a park for multiple uses. So if someone said they came to the park to chill out, different ways of categorizing that response could be ‘appreciation of nature’ or ‘peaceful’. Or if someone came to the park and was exercising, different ways of categorizing that could be ‘to clear their head’, ‘recreation’, or ‘appreciating nature’. Dealing with the subjectivity that comes along with the word usage presented a problem in trying to understand what people value in a park.
Each different researcher had their own way of conducting the surveys and drawing their behavioral maps which made condensing our findings somewhat difficult. The behavioral maps show the same activities, but each map is designed in every individuals own style and can be seen in our Findings, Analysis, Methods page. When conducting our surveys, some individuals asked every person who walked by if they would like to take the survey, but some researchers were a bit more passive, and only asked those park visitors who seemed more approachable. Additionally, we were unable to visit the park on weekends due to the prior commitments of some researchers.