Taylor YoungCampus Green Space StudyArch 390_Assignment 4_Research Study
IntroductionSeveral Articles published by ScienceDaily and HortTechnology suggestthat there is a relationship betweengreen space use and a student’sperceived quality of life. These articleswere also publishing the findings of astudy that was done at a TexasUniversity to see if there was such acorrelation. The study was conductedvia email survey, and undergraduatestudents were asked to respond toseveral questions relating to theirusage of campus green space andhow happy they were in their life.“The overall results from this study indicatedthat, in general, students who used the campusgreen spaces more frequently perceived theirquality of life as higher when compared withthose students who used green spaces lessfrequently. Additionally, undergraduate studentuse of campus green spaces was correlated withthe individual areas of overall quality of life, theaffective domain of quality of life of universitystudents, and, specifically, the total positiveaffective dimension and the interaction withstudents dimension. These results suggestedcampus green spaces and their availability couldpotentially be a contributing factor in studentretention, particularly among students new tothe university (i.e., freshmen)”(McFarland,Waliczek, Zajicek).My research is based on this study andthe information presented in thesearticles, although I wanted to push itbeyond what students perceive, andlook more at the data to see if thesame relationship was evident. For myresearch project I chose to investigatethe relationship betweenacreage of campus green spaceand freshman retention rate at 6UW System schools.From reading these articles, thatfocused on green space users, it seemsto me in order to get students to usegreen space on campus there first hasto be some, and that’s why I chose thegreen space acreage as one of myvariables. Quality of life in my researchis represented by freshman retentionrate, because so much of a student’slife is focused around the campusatmosphere, and if they don’t like thatatmosphere, especially an undergrad-uate freshman, they are less likely tostay and or graduate from thatuniversity.
ProcessUniversities:I chose UW Schools because I wanted tosee how this applied to schools close tohome and that I was more familiar with. Ichose the 6 UW Schools with the highestenrollment, these schools also are alllocated within a city that all have a densityof a least 2,000 people/square mile.•UW Eau Claire•UW LaCrosse••UW Madison•UW Milwaukee••UW Oshkosh•UW Whitewater•Data:I found numerical data and statistics aboutthe university and city from varioussources on the internet and organized it ina spreadsheet.The campus acreage data is not somethingreadily found on the internet, so I imple-mented my own strategy to find acreage ofgreen space and recreational space. I useda scaled Google map of the campus andplaced a grid over it, and then began fillingin the squares according to what was onthe map. I also included a 5 minutewalking radius and filled in any publicgreen space that was near campus, as Ithink the surroundings and what is directlyaccessible off campus plays a role as well.All the colored squares were then countedand translated into percentages, whichthen could be converted into acreage.This method is obviously not precise, but itgives a close representation as to what themake-up of the campus is like.5 MinuteWalkingRadiusCampusOutlinePublic GreenSpace: Parks,Trails, naturepreserves, plazasCampusRecreationalSpace (Outdoor):Athletic fieldsavailable to allstudentsCampus GreenSpace: Parks, naturepreserves, plazas,landscaping, greenstreets, lawns, forestsCampusNon-Green Space
University of Wisconsin LaCrosse120 Acres45 AcresPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceNon Green SpaceCampus AcreageEnrollmentUndergraduateGraduateFreshman Retention Rate4 Year Graduation Rate6 Year Graduation RateLocationCity SquareMilesCity PopulationDensity12010,0749,11995586%33%69%LaCrosse, WI2251,7192,330 people/sq. mi.
University of Wisconsin MadisonPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceNon Green Space936 Acres32 AcresresCampus AcreageEnrollmentUndergraduateGraduateFreshman Retention Rate4 Year Graduation Rate6 Year Graduation RateLocationCity SquareMilesCity PopulationDensity93642,44130,36712,07494.2%53%83%Madison, WI85236,9012,797 people/sq. mi.
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee73 AcresPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceNon Green SpaceCampus AcreageEnrollmentUndergraduateGraduateFreshman Retention Rate4 Year Graduation Rate6 Year Graduation RateLocationCity SquareMilesCity PopulationDensity7329,72624,6395,08771.5%14%40%Milwaukee, WI97597,8676,164 people/sq. mi.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh166 Acres28 AcresPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceNon Green SpaceCampus AcreageEnrollmentUndergraduateGraduateFreshman Retention Rate4 Year Graduation Rate6 Year Graduation RateLocationCity SquareMilesCity PopulationDensity16613,46112,2321,22975.8%14%50%Oshkosh, WI2766,3442,493 people/sq. mi.
University of Wisconsin Whitewater400 Acres134 AcresPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceNon Green SpaceCampus AcreageEnrollmentUndergraduateGraduateFreshman Retention Rate4 Year Graduation Rate6 Year Graduation RateLocationCity SquareMilesCity PopulationDensity40011,62910,2141,41577.5%26%56%Whitewater, WI7.314,7692,023 people/sq. mi.
Eau Claire83%LaCrosse86%Milwaukee71.5%Oshkosh75.8%Whitewater77.5%50%GreenSpaceUniversityFreshmanRetentionRateMadison94.2%Campus Rec SpaceCampus Green SpaceResults by Percentage
EauClaire83%LaCrosse86%Madison94.2%Milwaukee71.5%Oshkosh75.8%Whitewater77.5%100AcresUniversityFreshmanRetentionRate200Acres300Acres400Acres500AcresPublic Green SpaceCampus Rec SpaceCampus Green Space Results by Acreage
ConclusionAlthough the article in whichthis study was based onsuggests that there may be arelationship between theamount of green space acampus has available and itsretention rate my findings statethat there is not a definite directrelationship between the 2variables by either percentageof campus green space or justby the amount of green acre-age.When comparing acreage withretention rate there is some-what of a relationship that canbe seen, as the bars do create adownward slope overall, but it isnot a true direct relationshipbecause 2 of the 6 bars are notin sync with the downwardslope of the bar graph. Sooverall this set of results couldsuggest that there is a directrelationship between the 2variables, meaning the moregreen acreage there is availablethe higher a retention rate auniversity will have, but furtherinvestigation with more univer-sities should be done to see ifthose 2 inconsistent bars reallyare just outliers of the trend, orif there is in fact no trend at all.I also think it would be interest-ing to see how these schoolsstack up against the other USSystem schools, several ofwhich are in rural or suburbanareas, and not in the setting of acity like these 6 are. Given moretime I would have liked toexplore this.
SourcesArticles:American Society for Horticultural Science(2008, September 30). Campus Green SpacesEnhance Quality Of Life. ScienceDaily. RetrievedApril 29, 2013, from http://www.sciencedai-ly.com /releases/2008/09/080929104611.htmWebsites:Google MapsU.S. NewsUniversity of Wisconsin Eau ClaireUniversity of Wisconsin LaCrosseUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonUniversity of Wisconsin MilwaukeeUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshUniversity of Wisconsin Whitewater