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Old 08-05-2019, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,227 posts, read 2,670,923 times
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It's a given that some areas of the country have better access to nature than other locations, but how much does the size of a metropolitan area alone impact people's ability to be in and experience nature?

For those of you who have lived in both a smaller and a larger metro, how would you compare the following areas?

How many scenic natural areas can I get to within a 30 minute drive?
How many areas can I get to within a 30 minute drive where I can be alone?
How often do I see wildlife?
How much greenspace is there within 1 mile of my residence?
How often are people outside?

Did the metro size make more of a difference or the location within the country make a bigger impact?
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
579 posts, read 327,179 times
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Depends heavily on city/county/state government and their historical appreciation for conservation. I think you can find large metros with poor access and large metros with very good access.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:45 PM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,021,667 times
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To me, living in a large metro can enhance it because the metro invests in ways to be in nature. When I think of the Twin Cities for instance, they have walking paths, urban lakes, and the best park system in the country. None of which is available if one lives another hour away in the city. In other words, cities can invest in the infrastructure that gives you access to nature.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Glendale, AZ
43 posts, read 17,320 times
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Well if you have ever lived in the Pacific Northwest nature is all around you wherever you go! Even if you live in Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA or even bigger metros. But living here in Arizona, there is like no nature in the Phoenix metro area. There's parks but you have to get into your car to get to one of them and there's like no trees or greenery anywhere! The only real nature there is in this state is in Sedona, Prescott, or Flagstaff. So if you want nature Arizona is not the place to be.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:18 PM
 
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Very much. It can easily add an hour+ to the total commute time, which makes day hikes a pain especially if you hit rush hour.


That's for both Denver and the PNW cities. All of them.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:07 PM
 
2,566 posts, read 884,866 times
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Most large cities I've been to have scenic natural areas within a 30 minute drive. in fact many have that within the city limits. Think Central Park in NYC, Forest Park in St Louis or Great Falls of the Potomac outside of Washington DC.

To be alone? You'll have to drive more than 30 minutes from most big cities. 60 minutes, maybe. A lot of other people want to go to the same places you do.

Wildlife? I've seen deer roaming backyards in Cincinnati and coyotes in Boston. Peregrine falcons downtown Indianapolis and bald eagles near Minneapolis.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:12 PM
 
13 posts, read 2,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo58 View Post
To be alone? You'll have to drive more than 30 minutes from most big cities. 60 minutes, maybe. A lot of other people want to go to the same places you do.

You can drive three hours away and still have people there. It's massively disappointing. All it takes is one social media post showing off your favorite hike and the bluetooth speakers will forever haunt your hikes. Weekends are as crowded as supermarkets. Coming back from a hike and hitting rush hour makes you question why you hiked at all.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
3,865 posts, read 3,357,508 times
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I don’t think so. Both DC & Charlotte (6M, 3M) are both super close to greenery and especially DC itself is pretty green, lots of nature, hills, etc. I love nature. But a quick drive from either is paradise for nature lovers
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
931 posts, read 464,595 times
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It heavily depends on the city. I could be in a forest secluded from others in about 30 minutes without a car if I really wanted to. Give me a car and an hour, I could be very much away from people. I think Portland is an anomaly because Oregon without Portland is very rural and unspoiled.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
494 posts, read 592,770 times
Reputation: 249
In the Bay Area, being alone might have been difficult, but a 30 min drive for you to a bunch of places.

Texas’ geography in this part of the state doesn’t offer much unique. We have a fairly unimpressive state park nearby, but there’s nowhere I’d necessarily want to go in a 30 min drive even if it had been preserved.
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