Monday, February 18, 2008

Generational Change

A new study in Minnesota shows a drop off of young people using state parks and a lack of knowledge and general fear of the outdoors. State officials are also wondering how far they should go in providing technological services to visitors. Read the article here.
The Minnesota DNR just completed focus groups with people who don't use the parks who said they thought they and their children might get "bored" at a state park. Some mothers of young children in the group cited safety concerns and described the outdoors as "unpredictable" and "uncontrollable."

-- From 2001 to 2007, the median age of state-park users increased from 36 to 40, while the median age of Minnesotans increased less than a year. Also, the number of park visitors younger than 45 dropped 10 percent, while visitation by people older than 45 grew by 10 percent. Park visitation by children younger than 13 declined by 5 percent.

and if that weren't enough,
"A lot of people don't know how to make a campfire without using gasoline,'' said naturalist Linda Radimecky at Fort Snelling. "That scares us, so we'll show them how."

And so it goes, and grows.