Outdoor Recreation in Oregon: Responding to Demographic and Societal Change

The plan addresses five important demographic and societal changes facing outdoor recreation providers in the coming years.

by Oregon State Parks

The 2019-2023 Oregon Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), entitled Outdoor Recreation in Oregon: Responding to Demographic and Societal Change, constitutes Oregon’s basic five-year plan for outdoor recreation. The plan guides the use of Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funds that come into the state, provides guidance for other Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD)-administered grant programs, and provides recommendations to guide federal, state, and local units of government, as well as the private sector in making policy and planning decisions.

The plan addresses five important demographic and societal changes facing outdoor recreation providers in the coming years including:

1. An aging population;

2. An increasingly diverse population;

3. Lack of youth engagement in outdoor recreation;

4. An underserved low-income population; and

5. The health benefits of physical activity.

Besides satisfying grant program requirements, a primary intent of this plan is to provide up-todate, high-quality information to assist recreation providers with park system planning in Oregon. As a result, a substantial investment was made to conduct a statewide survey of Oregon residents regarding their outdoor recreation participation in Oregon, as well as their opinions about parks and recreation management. Results of the survey are provided for the general statewide population; urban, suburban, and rural populations; and for demographic groups at the statewide, urban, suburban, and rural levels. A total of 3,550 randomly selected Oregonians completed a survey questionnaire. A summary of statewide and demographic group survey results is included in this plan. A SCORP planning support document entitled, “2017 Oregon Resident Outdoor Recreation Survey”, contains the full report.

Survey results show that overall, 95% of Oregonians participated in at least one outdoor recreation activity in Oregon during the past year. Close-to-home activities dominate the total user occasions for Oregon residents since these activities can occur on a daily basis with limited travel time. Besides walking, bicycling and jogging on local streets / sidewalk; top outdoor activities include walking on local trails / paths, dog walking, walking / day hiking on non-local trails / paths. For demographic groups, families with children had the highest proportion of their population participating in some outdoor recreation activity, and middle old (ages 75-84) and low income (annual household income <$25,000) the lowest. Survey results include specific recommendations on how Oregon’s recreation providers can better serve the outdoor recreation needs of the general population and target demographic groups.

Attached document published January 2019

About the Author


The mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations.

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