Date of Award

4-13-2009

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy

Department

Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Thesis Advisor

Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen

Committee Member

June Hammond Rowan

Committee Member

Lelia R. Mellen

Committee Member

J.Steven Kahl

Abstract

In recent years, cities and towns across the United States have developed new trail systems to reengage nature, promote physical fitness, enhance economic opportunity, and promote a higher quality of life for residents. Plymouth, New Hampshire is an example of a community with riverfront projects underway. In Plymouth, the community has several natural amenities including two rivers and land that is open for the community to use freely. Many new community initiatives have been completed in Plymouth to make the rivers and trails more accessible for community members, but several projects have had difficulty gaining a foothold. The completion of all the riverfront and trail projects is important for the future conservation of the local environment as well as in playing a vital role in the positive physical and mental health of community members. This document reviews the literature on place attachment as well as the literature covering the importance of an individual’s connection to nature. Through discussions with project leaders a chronological review of all completed and proposed riverfront and trail projects are presented. As a result of reviewing the literature and the discussions with project leaders I have been able to make recommendations to further pursue and justify future and current riverfront and trail initiatives in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

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