Native counties in want of up to date out of doors recreation providers | WDHN

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DOTHAN, Al (WDHN) – The Alabama Statewide Outdoor Recreation Planning (SCORP) has released the 2022 Survey for Local Outdoor Recreation Centers.

The report, published region by region, encourages the preservation and use of outdoor recreation facilities and activities.

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During the 2021 SCORP survey, the use of outdoor public spaces was found to have increased by 30% during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was also released that more than half of the state’s cities do not have adequate funding to maintain existing outdoor recreation infrastructure.

Region 7, which includes Houston, Geneva, Dale, Coffee, Henry, Covington and Barbour counties, was among the regions with the least accessibility and interest in outdoor services.

During the 2022 survey, it was noted that some of the biggest problems in Region 7 were no activity in local areas, overly expensive facilities and activities, lack of accessibility for disabled citizens, and lack of security.

Like most of Alabama’s landscape, much of Region 7 contains heavily forested and swampy areas, increasing the likelihood of aggressive animal encounters and attacks.

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The survey also revealed that local citizens had requests for needed field services. Some of the most requested were ATV trails, educational nature hikes, and dirt trails. Paved hiking and jogging paths were in greatest demand with an inquiry rate of 21.1%.

Recreational and outdoor pools were also ranked fourth on the list of highest requests at 16.9%. This comes nearly a month after Alabama ranked sixth nationally for child drowning.

With the release of the most recent polls, SCORP says it is confident in Alabama’s efforts toward installing and maintaining various outdoor services and believes outdoor activities are critical to the state’s forward motion in the 21st century.