Graduation Date

Fall 2016

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

First Committee Member Name

Dr. Yvonne Everett

First Committee Member Email

First Committee Member Affililation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Mark Baker

Second Committee Member Email

Second Committee Member Affililation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Many cities throughout California have experienced land use shifts from prime agricultural land to developed industrial and residential areas without considering access to recreational open space. Access to recreation through open space or parks is beneficial for the health and well-being of the community while providing aesthetic value and potential preservation of local ecosystems. Since 2002 the City of Patterson, located in California’s Central Valley, has rezoned over 800 acres of agricultural land for urban and industrial use while developers reserved recreational open space (parkland) at locations inconvenient to existing neighborhoods. Although several acres of parkland have been added to the park infrastructure in new subdivisions, there still may be limited access to parks. This study used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data collected through public participatory GIS (PPGIS) surveys to analyze the accessibility of parkland for Patterson residents based on proximity, crime and physical barriers, and statistical probability. Participants in the PPGIS study included citizens living in Patterson, community members employed in Patterson, City and County officials, and farmers whose lands either shared a border to the City of Patterson and/or existed within city limits. About one quarter of the total population of Patterson has low access to recreational open space based on proximity, but more than three quarters of survey respondents felt that there was some kind of barrier keeping them from accessing parks. Some results of this study are available within Patterson’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan Draft. Once the Master Plan Draft is approved, it is hoped that the results of this project will help the City planning department make well-informed decisions on improving access to parks, creating secure paths for children, promoting healthy and affordable alternatives to motor vehicle transportation, and better connect residents with poor access to parkland.

Keywords: prime agricultural land, recreational open space, GIS, PPGIS, Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Citation Style