Climbers' perceptions toward sustainable bouldering at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
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Currently, there are a variety of concerns about the future of bouldering, a form of rock climbing, a t the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve near Niagara Falls, Ontario due to environmental impacts at the site. The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions ofbouldering participants toward sustainable bouldering practices at the Niagara Glen. The methodological framework for this study was based on action research, which attempts to solve specific problems through having people in a community study, discuss, and act on those problems. Five separate focus group interviews elicited data from nineteen men and seven women, while there were twenty one men and ten women observed through participant observations at the Niagara Glen. Analysis was conducted through coding processes where data were compared repeatedly and then organized into themes. From the open coding process, two main themes were identified and interpreted as 1) Barriers to Sustainable Bouldering at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, and 2) Environmental and Social Role and Responsibility ofBoulde r ing Participants at the Niagara Glen. The implications of the findings include a variety of recommendations for the bouldering community and the Niagara Parks Commission to consider for future collaborative planning. Some of these recommendations include more open communication between all stakeholders at the Glen, additional leadership from local climbing access coalitions and the Niagara Parks Commission, and greater implementation of minimum impact practices from the bouldering community. Additionally, these implications are discussed through a three-part framework based on a conceptual intersection of sense of place, community empowerment, and sustainable recreational use as a way to potentially unify the bouldering community's voice and vision toward sustainable practice.