Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study is to examine history and park meanings as constraints to visitation to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) by the African-American community. Thirty-six one-hour interviews were conducted in Denver, Colorado with African-American participants who resided in the city. In addition eleven, fifteen-minute interviews were conducted with African-Americans while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Over the course of the interviews, participants discussed their current and past relationship with Rocky Mountain National Park, the meanings they ascribed to the park, and their perceived constraints to park visitation. Snowball sampling was used, the data was transcribed verbatim, and content analysis was performed. Archival research was conducted to obtain information concerning the historical relationship of African-Americans with RMNP. Secondary data sources were used to profile the past and current socio-demographics of all RMNP visitors. The interviewees were divided into six groups based on their leisure constraints to park visitation, the meanings they ascribe to the park, and the previous experiences they have had in natural areas. In addition, the interviewees discussed why the African-American park visitation is underrepresented at RMNP. The results of this study showed that both historical and cultural constraints and park meanings served as major constraints to park visitation. The results are further discussed in light of the limitations and delimitations of the study. Suggestions for future research are also presented.
Erickson, Elizabeth B., "Rocky Mountain National Park: History and meanings as constraints to African -American Park visitation." (2001). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8821.