Final Summary: Campus Greenspaces and Future Research

In the last few weeks of the summer, Darrien and I zeroed in on greenspaces near the William & Mary campus. Specifically, I worked on a map of campus greenspaces, which will soon be promoted to students. The purpose of the website is to increase student knowledge of greenspaces around campus that they can visit for different activities. There are categories for Relax, Run/Hike, Sport, Socialize, Study, Eat, Bike, and Explore. Many of the greenspaces, such as the Sunken Garden, fall under several of these categories. Students can search by greenspace name, category, tag (such as hammock, benches, or quiet), or general location.

Once a student selects a greenspace, they are taken to a page with photos, a map, and description of the greenspace. They can also rate the space for how well it fits into each category (eg. study).

Working with Darrien, I added some greenspaces to the website, updated descriptions for many, changed the functionality of the maps on the website, modified the rating system, and altered a number of other details.

The website, which was built on WordPress, is still a work in progress. Future researchers will likely update information further and add more greenspaces. The Bike section of the website needs work, as entries are currently limited to Fix-It stations around campus and one or two trails in the area. Researchers will likely work with student bikers and experts in the area to improve that category. We also want to add more detail to the trails around Lake Matoaka. The College Woods are a huge resource that we are lucky to have, and we want to help more people access the trails, as some of them are mostly known through word of mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more about campus greenspaces, you can take a look at the website here! Keep in mind that, as of this post, certain sections are unfinished.

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As we wrap up the summer, I can easily say that it has been fascinating to research ecotherapy and parks in the area. I learned a lot about the field from both an academic and practical standpoint and come away nearly an expert in the benefits that the outdoors provide for mental health. My new knowledge reinforces my desire to pursue environmental conservation, not just for the sake of nature, but for the benefit of the human species.

Comments

  1. aswhitlock says:

    This seems like such a great idea for a website! How did you go about identifying the green spaces near William and Mary’s campus? Will there be a way for students to contribute photos or other potential green spaces to the website?

  2. ssshirali says:

    This seems like an amazing idea for students! I think it will be particularly beneficial to help students relax around exam time. How do you plan to promote this website?

  3. ejackson01 says:

    Thank you for building this website! I love the idea. I’m sure it’ll be helpful for freshmen and even upperclassmen who are new to campus, facing stress, and in need of a new greenspace on campus to take a break. I love the tags, but I think you should consider building a way for website readers to add tags as well. For example, whether there’s a trash can or a smokers’ pole could be helpful info for some students (even if it’s not something the researchers know about or think of right away). Great job and thanks for the resource!

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