Hilary Gove ’14 has been “examining play and ways to promote play” as a Community Based Research project (CBR) this year. The Geneva Lakefront Community Playground, completed in October, is the focus of Gove’s research, particularly its contribution to the community of Geneva and how it will continue to make Seneca Lake a desirable destination for families in the community. She will present the findings of her research during the Engaged Scholarship Forum at the end of the academic year.
“I began talking with Katie Flowers last spring about conducting a community based research project on the new playground. She thought I would be a good candidate because I had been researching the process of building the playground for a class,” explains Gove, who is a public policy major with minors in art history and women’s studies. She is also an America Reads coordinator.
She worked with Flowers, the director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, on a weekly basis to make connections with people in the community who could help her conduct her research and distribute a survey. She also worked with Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Christopher Annear as her faculty adviser who helped with the research itself.
Gove created a survey via SurveyMonkey, the link for which she distributed to the community via e-mail to HWS faculty and staff, members of the Geneva Recreation Department and local daycares.
“I also spent time surveying parents on the playground,” adds Gove. The survey included questions such as “Which playground do you visit the most with your child? And why?” The survey is directed toward parents and their children’s playtime habits, particularly what they find to be important when it comes to Geneva’s role in providing a suitable environment for their children to play.
More than 250 members of the Geneva and HWS communities worked to install the playground equipment on a pie-shaped parcel of grassy space on the western end of the city-owned park. The playground is located near the pedestrian tunnel under Routes 5&20 and the Long Pier.
The playground is a part of a collaborative project between Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva Community Projects and the City of Geneva through the KaBOOM! organization. More information about the project is available on the Daily Update.