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Social Groupies: How Different Groups Use Urban Parks

This article is from Issue Urban Forest - Vol. 6 No. 1.

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People visit parks to do many different activities, such as play basketball, baseball, sunbathe, swim, walk, picnic, or go bicycling. If park managers know what people like to do in a particular park, they can do a better job of providing the opportunity. The question the scientist wanted to answer in this study was: What activities do people of different ethnic backgrounds do while visiting an urban park?

Welcome to the Urban Forests edition

Note to Educators

Urban Forest Lesson Plan

Reflection Section Answer Guide

Education Standards Correlations


Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Life Science
  • People and Science

"Environmental Topics" covered in this article:
  • Forest and Grassland Use (Educators)
  • Growing and Using Trees and Other Plants (Students)
  • Importance of Forest to People (Students)
  • Protecting Trees and Other Plants (Students)
  • The Value of Forests and Grasslands (Educators)
  • Using Forests (Students)
  • Vegetation Management (Educators)
  • Vegetation Protection (Fire, Insects, Endangered Species) (Educators)

Regions covered in this article:
  • Alaska
  • Forest Products Lab
  • Intermountain
  • International Institute of Tropical Forestry
  • Northern
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Pacific Southwest
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Southern
  • Southwestern

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
Scientists study a lot of different things. Usually, people think about the kind of science that is concerned with things like Earth, or diseases, or space. There is another category of science known as the social sciences. The social sciences are concerned with the things that people think, feel, believe, say, or do. The social sciences may also be concerned about the behavior of groups of people. Groups could include American families living in South Africa, 12-year old boys in Oklahoma who play soccer, middle school science students in Tillman Middle School, or just about any group of people. Pretend that you are a social scientist. Name three different groups of people that you might like to study. Any group that you identify should have a common characteristic. You should also limit the group by identifying a geographic limit. Use your imagination!
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Characteristics of Scientists
  • Scientific Topics
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Have you ever planned how you are going to spend your weekend? Do you plan how you will spend your allowance? Planning is an important tool that helps people and communities to use their resources more wisely. Resources include things like money, time, or even school supplies. If you plan ahead about how you will use your resources, you will have a better chance of identifying future opportunities or problems. People are not the only ones who plan ahead. Groups of people living in communities can also plan how they will use their shared resources. One of the resources they plan for is how they will use public land, including urban park land.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Benefit of natural resources to local economy
  • Sustainability
  • Value of natural environments

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Science and technology in society (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)

Science Benchmarks covered in this article:
  • Habits of Mind: Communication Skils
  • Habits of Mind: Critical-Response Skills
  • Human Society: Political and Economic Systems
  • Human Society: Social Change
  • Human Society: Social Trade-Offs
  • The Nature of Science: Scientific Inquiry
  • The Nature of Science: The Scientific Enterprise
  • The Nature of Technology: Technology and Science