Calls of the wild: Lack of restrooms keeping people from enjoying BC trails

Being able to relieve themselves in the outdoors is one of the main reasons British Columbians are keeping out on the trails more often, according to a new survey.

The Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, surveyed 800 adults in British Columbia and weighted the data so that the sample group reflects the population of British Columbia according to census data.

It was the first survey of its kind after COVID-19 to examine how British Columbians access outdoor recreation.

Now the poll provides insight into what British Columbians think are the benefits, barriers and responsibilities of the provincial government in developing and maintaining outdoor recreation areas, including trails, parks, etc

According to the council, the results show that the public is supportive of more government investment in trail development and maintenance, particularly when it comes to bathrooms.

“There have been no recent efforts to understand the importance of outdoor recreation to British Columbians and the barriers to participation,” said Louise Pedersen, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Council of Colombia. -British, in a press release.

“So we decided to educate ourselves to ensure this information is made available to decision makers and to support our advocacy efforts to improve outdoor recreation opportunities for all British Columbians.”

Here are the biggest issues for outdoor enthusiasts, according to their survey:

  • toilet availability (42%)
  • parking availability (40%)
  • camping reservation problems (28%)
  • overcrowding (28%)
  • lack of trash cans (25%)
  • poorly maintained trails (23%)
  • poorly maintained campsites or parks (20%)
  • trails closed due to poor trail conditions (21%)
  • loss of road access to a park, recreation site or trail (14%)

According to the survey, barriers that prevent people from spending more time outdoors include:

  • too little time (41%)
  • person to participate with (24%)
  • too expensive (21%)
  • insufficient knowledge and experience (14%)
  • with a disability (13%)

The survey found that the vast majority of BC residents participate in outdoor recreational activities and believe it is good for their mental and physical health.

“Well-maintained, safe and accessible trails and outdoor spaces have never been more essential for British Columbians,” said Pedersen.

“Outdoor recreation is not just something people do for fun; it’s essential to our physical health, mental well-being and social connections.

“It’s also a significant economic powerhouse that can reinvigorate and strengthen rural BC towns by creating jobs, diversifying economies and boosting tourism,” Pedersen said.

You can check out the full survey to learn more about how British Columbians are accessing the great outdoors.

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