The University of Richmond Eco-corridor, a new renovation project, transformed a wildly overgrown area into one of beauty with several recreational uses. The opening of this project comes at an important time for local outdoor recreation in cities, the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous work has suggested that landscapes are more beautiful when there is minimal human impact, therefore wilderness scenes are more likely to be used for nature walks and observing nature. While other studies suggest that beauty is dependent on how the land may be used, suggesting that “cultivated wild” is preferrable. This paper used an observational study and a survey to determine the effectiveness of this project for enhancing human overall wellbeing and increasing usage of the space. The observational study found roughly 350 people use the Eco-corridor on a normal day (with large variance according to weather and time of day). While the survey found that only 18% of participants used the space before. Proposed additions to the Eco-corridor were examined and the most favored were presented. The overall effectiveness of the project is further discussed.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Todd Lookingbill

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