An investigation of selected urban recreation variables : Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park

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Church, Glenn Robert
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After a detailed and lengthy review of the literature in urban recreation had uncovered no study of the visitors to a large urban park or park system, it was felt that to study the users of a metropolitan park in terms of the distance they travel to the park, their socio-economic backgrounds and age groups, and activity differences would be a valuable contribution to the field of urban recreational geography. The park chosen for this study was the 375 acre Assiniboine Park in the City of Winnipeg -- Canada's third largest city with a population of over 535,000 which is over one-half the population of the Province of Manitoba. Assiniboine Park is the largest and most frequented park in Winnipeg's park system which includes four large parks, twenty-three neighbourhood parks, ninety-four community centers and playgrounds, and one hundred and thirty tot-lots and small-open spaces used for a variety of recreational purposes. Within the park a variety of recreational facilities are located including a 100 acre zoo, a conservatory (arboretum), a duck pond (which becomes a skating area in the winter), an English Garden, a Formal Garden, a miniature train ride, picnic and playground facilities, and spacious open fields used for cricket, baseball and casual recreation. Manitoba is rapidly becoming more urbanized. With this increased urbanization and an increasing demand for urban recreation facilities and programs in Winnipeg, it seems natural to expect that a large amount of data would have been collected regarding the park system especially in terms of the visitors to the recreation areas. The only user data available, however, are vehicle counts at the larger parks and tallies of the visitors to some of the facilities in these parks such as at the zoo in Assiniboine Park. This small amount of information is insufficient for the planning processes necessary in the maintenance and development of the park system. The underlying purpose behind this thesis, then, is to provide some information to those in planning and administrative positions regarding who is using the parks....