Term of Award

Spring 1992

Degree Name

Master of Recreation Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Recreation and Leisure Services

Committee Chair

Pamela S. Thomason

Committee Member 1

Henry A. Eisenhart

Committee Member 2

J. Mark Morgan

Committee Member 3

Daniel B. Good


When making decisions regarding park land acquisition and/or facing development, administrators must choose between a variety of planning approaches. Each strategy has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, a consensus on which method is "best" has not been reached. This study focuses on comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of utilizing two planning strategies, standards and comparative need base approach. These two approaches were applied to the state of Georgia to determine whether or not additional state park lands were needed. Comparisons were not only "between" states but also "within" similar physiographic provinces.

Under the standards based approach, open space guidelines of 12.5, 18.75, and 25 acres per one thousand population were applied to two classification systems, DNR's administrative planning regions and a physiographic provinces. Resulting acreage from both systems were compared and contrasted.

Under the comparative need base approach, three criteria (land, population and tourism) were developed and compared to park development in other states (Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida) within the same physiographic province. Three ratios were calculated, the highest ratio out of Georgia was chosen to be the development goal inside Georgia for that particular physiographic province.

A total need of 95,440 acres and 90,114 acres were calculated under DNR's classification system and physiographic province system when the standard was 25 acres per one thousand population was applied. Using comparative need base approach, results indicated an pen space need of 177,226 acres to match the level of development set in the surrounding Southeastern states.


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