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The benefits of outdoor recreation

February 4, 2004

Photo of three people rollerblading through a wooded area What do Californians think about outdoor recreation? What are the experiences of people of color when they visit state and national parks? Can healthy recreation habits break the cycle of addiction for adult children of alcoholics?

These are some of the issues that delegates attending the fourth annual Social Aspects and Recreation Research (SARR) symposium will address Feb. 4-6. The meeting, held on campus and at the Presidio, will focus on the theme "Linking People to the Outdoors: Connections for Healthy Lands, People and Communities."

More than 200 delegates will attend the symposium, including recreation professionals from community and nonprofit groups, researchers, students, and land and destination managers from across the United States. This is the first time SARR has been hosted in San Francisco.

"The conference is a tremendous opportunity to further our understanding of how linking people to the outdoors helps to create community and develop healthy lifestyles," said recreation and leisure studies Professor Patrick Tierney, who is a co-organizer of the three-day conference.

Tierney also said that one of the topics the delegates would be discussing is how an active lifestyle can help to ameliorate childhood obesity, a subject that has received national media attention in the past few years.

Keynote addresses will be given at a Thursday dinner at Jack Adams Hall by Derrick Crandall, director of American Recreation Coalition in Washington, D.C.; Ruth Coleman, director of California Division of Parks and Recreation; and Brain O’Neill, superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.

Tierney will present papers and appear on panel discussions for topics ranging from creating a student internship program with the National Park Service to a comparison of leisure travel visitor patterns among residents of Barcelona, Glasgow, Los Angeles and Morelia, Mexico.

Other recreation and leisure studies faculty and students who will present include:

  • Lecturer Laura Rifkin: "Breaking the Cycle of Addiction for Adult Children of Alcoholics: Learning Healthy Recreation Participation Patterns for the Next Generation"
  • Program alum Suzanne Sillett: "Soccer Participation and Self-Concept in the Lives of Girls of Color"
  • Assistant Professor Eric Rosegard: "Effects of Trail Information on Physical Activity Enjoyment"
  • Assistant Professor of kinesiology David Walsh: "Helping Youth in Underserved Communities Envision Possible Futures: A Youth Development Approach in Practice"

The symposium is sponsored by the SFSU Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, the U.S. Forest Service and the Presidio Trust.

The recreation and leisure studies department has 125 undergraduates pursuing a BA in recreation and 36 graduate students studying for an MA. Students prepare for a career in a variety of leisure service organizations in the public and private sectors and can specialize in therapeutic recreation, parks and resource management, community and urban recreation, environmental education and outdoor education, commercial recreation, resort and tourism management, leisure education and adventure programming.

-- Susan Arthur


San Francisco State University

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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications