University of Washington Student Perception of the Washington Park Arboretum
Rickenbaker, Eve Raquel
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The University of Washington co-manages 230 acres of one of the most important arboreta of North America, a botanic garden of thousands of plant collections and ultimately a living classroom with great educational, physical recreation and mental restoration value. This natural garden and forested setting in an urban environment adjacent to the University of Washington campus is the Washington Park Arboretum. University of Washington students have much to benefit by visiting the Arboretum, and conversely, the Arboretum and the University have much to gain from student visitation for long-term survival. The purpose of this research was to provide knowledge that may help University of Washington Botanic Gardens' management facilitate student visitation to the Washington Park Arboretum. Six focus group discussions with University of Washington students were held during 2013-2014. Through these discussions, motivational factors that would encourage students to visit the Arboretum were discovered and barriers that currently prevent student visitation were disclosed. Each of the focus groups agreed that the ideal time to be introduced to the Arboretum would be during an annual UW Orientation event in the fall. In addition to including the Washington Park Arboretum in UW Orientation, directional signage leading to the Arboretum was also strongly suggested by each group. These are just two of the many conclusions addressed by the focus group interviewees that can easily be addressed by the University of Washington and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens to encourage student visitation to the Washington Park Arboretum.
- Forestry