What seniors want from open space
9/17/13 / Matt Bruce
Corona Insights recently helped sponsor the Colorado Open Space Alliance: 2013 Conference in the beautiful hamlet of Crested Butte, Colorado. More land managers and natural resource professionals attended this year’s conference than any year prior, demonstrating both the success of the conference organizers and the growing field of open space, natural areas, and landscape conservation in Colorado. This year’s conference was energetic, inspiring, and full of camaraderie, and Corona Insights was proud to help sponsor such an event.
We were also happy to share some insights and implications we uncovered while conducting research for a Front Range open space agency this summer. We surveyed county senior citizens to understand their desire to recreate on open space, satisfaction of their recent visits, preferences for amenities and trail management, and what makes it difficult to access open space. Understanding what this segment of the population thinks is important because the proportion of Coloradoans older than 64 is projected to increase by 7.8 percent over the next 15 years.
Some of our findings were expected (e.g., most seniors go hiking or walking when visiting open space) but other results were surprising. For example, most seniors prefer hiking on trails made of dirt and rock, rather than gravel trails or paved trails. Seniors are also most likely to prefer trails that are wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side and least likely to prefer trails that are wide enough for only one person at a time. These results will inform resource and recreation planners, landscape architects, and other staff about what trail policies and amenities seniors prefer.
If your agency or department needs to know what your constituents prefer, need, want, or do, give us a call and see what Corona Insights can uncover for you.