Perceptions of the Relationships between Parks and Adjacent Communities: The Case of Bon Echo Provincial Park and Cloyne, Ontario
McAllister Arthurs, Christina
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This study examines the relationship between parks and adjacent communities, through a case study of Bon Echo Provincial Park and the village of Cloyne. Two objectives are identified. First is to assess the nature of the relationship between Bon Echo and the community from the perspective of local community members, using the Grounded Theory methodology. The second objective is to provide recommendations, based on the findings of the case study, using the framework of the Healthy Communities approach. These objectives are met through primary and secondary data collection. The former consists of thirty-two personal, semi-structured interviews that were conducted with community members. The latter includes a variety of documents written about the park, the village and the general area. The study finds that the park has been an important part of this area for many years. It demonstrates that three types of relationships exist between Cloyne and Bon Echo. The formal relationship is the ‘official’ relationship between the park and the community. The functional relationship describes how the community perceives and uses the park. The facilitative relationship highlights how the park facilitates (or creates) costs and benefits to the community, and how it influences sense-of-place. Finally, the study demonstrates that the community would like to see change in its relationship with the park. As such, six recommendations are provided that are in line with the Healthy Communities approach. These recommendations illustrate that the overall relationship could be improved by encouraging the park to localize their methods and practices. By localizing provincial parks and helping to develop stronger local tourism economies, both the park and the community will benefit.