|Evaluation of an inter-agency collaboration to promote park visitation and physical activity among youth in Greenville County, South Carolina|
is a summer-long scavenger hunt developed in partnership between LiveWell Greenville (LWG) and the 7 local parks and recreation agencies throughout Greenville County, South Carolina. Each summer, Park Hop includes activity-promoting clues at numerous (15-20) parks and recreation venues throughout the county. At the end of the summer, youth turn in their passports via a Park Hop paper passport or the Park Hop mobile scavenger hunt app in hopes to win activity-themed prizes from local organizations that support active living. Park Hop is an initiative that is geared toward one of LWG’s central goals of helping residents to discover fun ways to become more active by utilizing existing amenities in their community. The BEACH Lab has partnered with LWG to evaluate Park Hop in order to help this program grow and improve and encourage youth to discover new parks in their community, get outside, and, most importantly, be active!
The overall purpose of Park Hop is to: 1) increase park awareness and discovery, 2) increase park-based physical activity, and 3) create an annual tradition for all Greenville County residents to enjoy.
LiveWell Greenville (LWG) is a network of organizations partnering to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” for all Greenville County, SC residents through healthy eating and active living policy, systems, and environmental changes. LWG supports initiatives in a number of community settings including recreation and play.
Park Hop Evaluation
Several methods have been used to evaluate the effectiveness, satisfaction, and overall perceptions and attitudes of Park Hop participants. The primary method is an online survey administered to all families that register at the beginning of Park Hop (May) as well as a follow-up survey administered to all participating families at the end of Park Hop (August). By using a pre and post survey, we are able to match these responses and examine changes in the following:
In addition, during some seasons, direct observation of park users in a select number of Park Hop parks has been conducted to examine whether increases in the number of park visitors and users’ physical activity levels. Furthermore, focus groups have also been conducted with Park Hop parents and youth to understand in more in-depth their perspectives on and suggestions regarding Park Hop.
Presentations & Publications
As a result of this collaborative workgroup and evaluation team, we have had the opportunity to share this innovative program and results in several different academic and professional outlets.
Hughey, S.M., & Gilrain, T. (2016, September). Increasing youth recreation and play opportunities through two innovative parks and recreation programs in Greenville, SC. Presented at the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association 71st Annual Conference, Greenville, SC.
King, S., Hughey, S.M. (2016, April). What’s AT PLAY for Park Hop? Presented at the Furman Engaged Undergraduate Research Day.
Toto, M., Mutchler, E., & Hughey, S.M. (2016, April). Park Hop: Interagency collaboration to promote park visitation and physical activity among youth in Greenville County, SC. Presented at the Furman Engaged Undergraduate Research Day.
Hughey, S.M., Toto, M., Mutschler, E., Fair, M. & At Play Workgroup. (2016, April). Playing in the park! A coalition workgroup’s efforts to increase youth play opportunities throughout Greenville County, South Carolina. Presented at the U.S. Play Coalition Conference, Clemson, SC
Fair, M.L., Kaczynski, A.T., Hughey, S.M., Besenyi, G.M., & Powers, A.R. (2016, February). Evaluation of a youth-focused initiative to facilitate park usage, discovery and physical activity in Greenville County, SC. Presented at the Active Living Research Annual Conference, Clearwater, FL.
Mutschler, E., Toto, M., Hughey, M., Fair, M., Chernati, D., Powers, A., & Wills, S. (2015, October). Park Hop program description and evaluation. Presented at the 12th Annual South Carolina Obesity Summit, Columbia, SC.
Besenyi, G.M., Fair, M., Hughey, S.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Powers, A., Dunlap, E., & LiveWell Greenville Park Hop Team. (2015). Park Hop: Pilot evaluation of an inter-agency collaboration to promote park awareness, visitation, and physical activity in Greenville County, S.C. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 33(4), 69-89.
Fair, M.L., Kaczynski, A.T., Hughey, S.M., Besenyi, G.M., & Powers, A.R. (2017). An initiative to facilitate park usage, discovery and physical activity among children and adolescents in Greenville County, South Carolina, 2014. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, E14.
|Park Hop Evaluation has been funded by University of South Carolina Office of Research and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Community Health.
For more information about the evaluation of Park Hop, feel free to contact us:
Andrew Kaczynski, PhD
Morgan Hughey, MPH
Melissa Fair, MPH