Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (2.2 MB)

Title: A social science perspective on the forest preserves: Seven virtues for connecting people and nature

Author: Gobster, Paul H.;

Date: 2015

Source: In: Celebrating 100 Years of beauty in the forest preserves. Proceedings of a symposium; 2015 May 28; Chicago, IL. River Forest, IL: Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois: 26-29.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Description: How do people perceive and value urban green space? In what ways do people's perceptions and values of urban nature affect their use and experience of parks, forest preserves, and other green space types? Knowing this information, how can green space planners, managers, and decision makers facilitate a better "fit" between people and nature in urban settings? Answering these and related questions has been a central goal of the Chicago Urban Field Station, a social science unit of the US Forest Service's Northern Research Station. Since 1978, the forest preserves have been an important outdoor laboratory for our study of people-nature interactions, from early assessments of recreational use (Young and Flowers, 1982) to current studies of expert decision making and public support for ecological restoration practices (Watkins et al., 2015; Westphal et al., 2014). While it would be difficult to summarize this breadth of work here, the centennial of the Cook County Forest Preserves provides a fitting occasion to reflect upon some of the key themes drawn from it and related work, and from my personal observations as a researcher and visitor to the preserves over the last three decades. I refer to these key themes as "virtues" and of the seven I identify here, three underscore themes upon which the system was established a century ago: beauty, naturalness, and access. Four other virtues are less apparent in the foundational writings creating the preserves but have gained prominence in more recent times: cleanness, safety, health, and compatibility. Surely these aren't the only ones that matter, and their brief description here doesn't do justice to their nuances and connections to each other. I do, however, believe that all seven are needed to guide the preserves now and as they enter their next century.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Gobster, Paul H. 2015. A social science perspective on the forest preserves: Seven virtues for connecting people and nature. In: Celebrating 100 Years of beauty in the forest preserves. Proceedings of a symposium; 2015 May 28; Chicago, IL. River Forest, IL: Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois: 26-29.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.