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Ethnic Diversity Banner

Ethnic Diversity and Corps Recreation Participation

Headquarters Program: Recreation Management Support Program

Recreation visits to COE lakes by minority groups are increasing, especially in areas of the United States where neighboring communities are experiencing immigration and rapid population growth. As the United States becomes more ethnically complex, the COE expects to serve a wider range of outdoor recreation visitors than it has in the past. The research now under way at ERDC continues the work begun in 1995 as part of the research work unit on Ethnic Culture and Corps Recreation Participation.

Future research products will assist the leaders of the Recreation Management Support Program and the hundreds of Corps' project managers as together they reshape the COE recreation program to meet the needs of both our traditional and non-traditional customers. Three overall objectives have been proposed for ERDC's new ethnic research:

1- Identify specific regional demographic trends and their projected socioeconomic impacts to the Corps' national recreational program; identify recreational needs and facilities preferences for traditional (white) and non-traditional Corps customers, especially the three ethnic minority groups that will have the greatest economic impact on the COE (e.g. African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans).

2- Identify the changes in Corps services and programs needed to improve relations between minority and non-minority customers and improve communications between Corps personnel and their minority customers.

3- Identify what constitutes the best mix of "special" and "universal" facilities for COE projects in different regions of the United States; how to design parks that work for an ethnically diverse group of visitors; identify and analyze existing Corps projects that have successfully coped with the needs of traditional and non-traditional users; identify those factors that make certain projects (or parks) appeal to both the white majority population as well as our ethnic minority visitors.

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