For her first co-op, Hannah returned to her home state of Texas, where she became a data collector for the Research and Development Corporation (RAND) within the City Parks Alliance (CPA) group. Hannah was able to put her skills to work aiding in the collection of data contributing to the National Study of Neighborhood Parks. “The National Study of Neighborhood Parks is a four-year long study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, aiming to better understand how local neighborhood parks contribute to physical activity and assess park management practices and programming.” Dallas is one of the twenty-seven cities selected to participate in the study. Hannah was provided the exciting opportunity to travel to Los Angeles for a three-day training on SOPARC, a system for observing play and recreation in communities. She then ventured out to a couple parks in the area to practice what she learned, and then returned to Texas to implement. With tablet in hand, Hannah ventured out into the Dallas community parks to begin her collection. Her days included taking pictures of the park grounds, logging the number of park users daily, noting characteristics of the park, and providing general insights on the overall atmosphere of the park. She was also tasked with administering surveys to park goers, a task that even allowed her to practice her Spanish speaking skills!
Photo Credit: Hannah Riley ’19