It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that the relationship between Floridians and nature is changing. Adults and children spend less time outdoors, participation in hunting and fishing has been steadily declining for years, and much of nature is now seen a merely an amenity.
These contemporary trends pose a problem for the future well-being of our society. Overwhelming evidence now indicates that the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of people is dependent upon contact with nature.
To monitor these trends and to suggest how to restore this relationship, social scientists conducted an unprecedented study of 2,530 adults, children, and parents in Florida throughout 2015-2016.
Three different survey methods were used in this study: focus groups, personal interviews and on-line questionnaires. The surveys were conducted in the cities of Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa.
Major findings include:
- Floridians face a significant gap between their interests in nature and their efforts, abilities, and opportunities to pursue those interests.
- Experiences in nature are deeply social.
- Adults and children differ in where they locate unforgettable, authentic nature.
- Access to nature is as much about the quality of places as their quantity.
- Floridians value nature in remarkably broad, diverse ways.
- Floridians support nature-related programming, funding, and conservation.
- Floridians’ relationship with nature is complex and nuanced.
- Floridians perceive tremendous benefit from experiences in nature.
Download the complete report: