Participant Observation: Edmonds

Over the past few weeks, my group and I managed to head to Edmonds for a total of about 5-6hrs (not including drive time). Here, I’ll display our combined observational findings from Yost Park and 5 Corners.

Yost Park

  People Observed at Park
Sex Female 49%
Male 51%
Age Group Child 15%
Teen 1%
Adult 69%
Senior 15%
Ethnicity Latinx 14%
Black 0%
White 70%
Other 16%
Activity Level Sedentary 3%
Walking 62%
Vigorous 35%

Upper Left Trails: These trails are a mix of well managed or unkempt and steep or level paths with several boardwalks or bridges and one bench. 9% of the park-goers observed were seen here and were walking or jogging alone or in small groups. One individual spoke to the observer saying that he comes to Yost on most weekends to walk the trails and visit the playground because it is a nice area to get away from the city and that he lives close by so he walked there.

Upper Right Trails: These trails are a mix of well managed or unkempt and steep or level paths with a few bridges and two benches. 29% of the park-goers observed were seen here and were mostly families (one with a dog) walking the trails together and two individuals sitting together on a bench. One individual spoke to the observer saying that he comes to the park 2-3 times a week to bird watch and exercise and that he enjoys the area because of the peacefulness and access to nature.

Parking Lot: This area has sidewalks, bike racks, and a small playground and the pool near it. 16% of the park-goers were observed here and were walking towards the trails or were on the playground. Five individuals spoke to the observer, 4 were new or relatively new to the park and one often walks through. They came to walk, hike, bird watch, and enjoy the sunshine, nature, and scenery. They liked to visit because it isn’t too far away from home, is small enough that it doesn’t take all day and that they can’t get lost, it’s pretty, but they would like if there was an information about the trails somewhere. Three of them drove and two walked to the park.

Pickleball Court: None of the visitors that used this area were from Edmonds and were from the greater Seattle area and like to go here because this court is the outdoor court that is most often available for them to play pickleball. 18% of the park-goers were observed here and they had lots of suggestions to improve on the area, such as more routine maintenance and better parking.

Service Road: This area is a paved path that leads to a housing area with a gate to prevent cars from entering. 27% of the park-goers were observed here, many were family or small groups walking, walking their dog, running, or biking together. One individual spoke to the observer saying that he comes here about two times a week to jog, walk, or bike because he lives nearby and really enjoys the park overall.

On 4/16, four group members were able to drive down to Yost Park for preliminary observations, although we did not get to the roundabout. Once we got to the park, we drove through the parking lot looking for a handicapped spot, as one of our group members has a disability, and were unable to find one. Then after walking into the park, we found a handicapped spot that was closer to the pool and dilapidated basketball court, but it was inaccessible because there was a locked gate blocking the road to it. We walked down the paved main trail, service road, and a little into the connecting trails (see map) to get a preliminary view of the area. Yost Park is a habitat park, so there is a lot of greenery, unpaved trails, and wildlife that we were able to observe. We talked to a few people to ask what they used the park for, and they said they frequently came to walk their dogs and birdwatch, and one mentioned that they would like it if there were more bathrooms available other than the portable toilet.

On 5/7, five group members went down to Yost Park and the roundabout to make formal observations. We used SOPARC coding forms to note traits about people that we observed in the park: their gender, age group, ethnicity, and activity level, and a list of general questions to ask park-goers. Since we split the park into five sections to save time, one section per person to observe, there is overlap in the people that we saw so the total number of people that we all saw (74) is not accurate. A more accurate number would be around 20-30 park-goers. Visitors of the park were typically there to walk or hike the trails, with a few people jogging, biking, or walking their dog. Conversations held with some visitors show that many people enjoy the park as it is peaceful and easily accessible.

At the roundabout, we did not use the forms because there were mainly cars, very few pedestrians, and no bikers. We walked through the crosswalks around the roundabout and there are flashing lights to indicate pedestrians but no sound when the button is pushed. We noticed that many of the drivers are not very careful in the roundabout because they drove quickly through it and seldomly stopped for pedestrians.

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