The Importance of Natural Trails in an Otherwise Concrete Jungle
By Alexander Blum-Walker, Jennifer Rich, and Cornelius Meier, Contributors
In our Environmental Studies 101 class we were given the task of forming a group to address a social or environmental issue that we could effectively spread awareness for. Our group decided that there was a lack of awareness concerning the different trail systems in the Prince George area, so we chose to survey and present to a group of people to see what kind of results we could attain.
In order to do this we developed a survey that included three easy to follow questions. The questions asked the participants how many years they had lived in Prince George, whether they used the trail system in and around Prince George, and, if they had used them, they were to state which one of the trails listed they had used and give an estimate of how many times they had used them in total. We surveyed twenty-five people while set up in the Winter Garden, and the results were somewhat surprising. Of these twenty five people almost one third had lived in Prince George for less than one year. This would account for why these people had exclusively used the Forest for the World trails. Assuming these were all people that live in residence or are in first year university, it makes sense that they would have only used the trails closest to the school.
From there the group of students that have lived in Prince George from one to five years had greatly expanded their trail use among the city, but still everyone had used the Forest for the World trails multiple times. Other trails that were commonly used by this group include Fort George Park and the Cranbrook Hill Greenway trail. Since these are some of Prince George’s most popular trails, this was an understandable result.
The next and final group we got results from were students who have lived in Prince George for longer than fifteen years. As expected, their results included the use of most, if not all, of the trails on our survey. The most popular was still the Forest for the World trails, but was followed by LC Gunn Trail and then Fort George Park. We believe that this survey gave us some insight into both the amount of knowledge of the local trail systems that is present in our student body, and the important roles these trails play. For people who walk their animals or run for physical activity, these trails provide a connection with nature in an otherwise concrete jungle.