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Recreational Benefits of Chino Hills State Park

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Recreational Benefits of Chino Hills State Park
Health and wellness is an interest that is quickly spreading globally. Many people are interested in simple activities or exercises that provide them with maximum results with minimal effort yet due to time constraints, careers, and the daily demands of modern life, most are unlikely to achieve their desired results. As a result, many are turning to outdoor recreation as an outlet to achieving their personal and physical goals. Chino Hills State Park expands a massive 14, 102 acres and provides the communities of Brea, Chino Hills, Corona, and Yorba Linda, that surround the park with the benefits of: ninety miles of trails and fire roads… offer excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife and native plants. Facilities consist of a picnic area, equestrian staging area, pipe corrals, a historic barn, water spigots and restrooms (California, 2014). In addition to the trails that can be used for camping, hiking, biking, and horse back riding, the park offers bird watching, and a new discovery center. The park uses direct management to monitor who enters the park by charging fees upon entry. It is $5.00 to visit the park daily or, if you are camping, between $15.00- $100.00 depending on the size of the group and how long the stay will be for. The amenities in the park offer physical, mental, social, spiritual, and intellectual benefits to individuals and groups who visit.
Stress has a negative affect on the immune system and extensive exposure increases vulnerability to diseases and may eventually lead to physical and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. However, studies have shown that: “Regular outdoor activity provides a number of physical health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced arthritis pain, weight loss and lowered risk of diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease” (Evans, 2014). Exercise is an effective method of managing and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, opposed to turning to modern medicine as a form of coping. Many people today are turning to the outdoors to exercise, mostly hiking, because it can be more cost friendly than having to pay for a gym membership. Chino Hills State Park is an excellent example for outdoor recreation for those who like to hike, bike, or horseback ride. The park itself offers ninety miles worth of trails that have difficulties that can range between beginner and extreme. Hikers and bikers are most commonly sharing the trails so it is important to pay attention for possible passers while on the trails.
Horseback riding is a play and leisure activity that many people consider a favorite hobby or pastime. Horseback riding frequently has a calming effect and helps a person relax. Therapeutic riding simply uses the recreational pleasures of horseback riding to promote various social, emotional, and physical benefits (All, 1999). The park has trails that are horseback friendly and does not charge an extra fee to bring in the horses. There is a staging area where horses may be adjusted and readied for riding, and the trails lead off from there. Anyone with horses can essentially visit the park, as long as park rules are all followed.
Along with an increase in physical activity, outdoor recreation offers the chance to socialize, an important benefit in itself. For instance, bird-watching incorporates several activities, including the physical movement of walking, interpreting visual and auditory input, and speaking to other birdwatchers, according to a 2010 report from Resources for the Future (Evans, 2014). Bird enthusiasts can explore individually or join a bird watching group at the park. It is important to know the calendar and migratory patterns for the birds that are commonly found in the park, that information can be found in the Discovery Center or on the parks website.
The new Discovery Center provides intellectual benefits to the surrounding communities and most importantly the local school districts. In Brea alone there are six elementary schools, one junior high school, and two high schools. The parks close proximity to the urban core creates many possibilities for visitation (Liles, 2011). The discovery center is provided as a resource that allows teachers to visit the park with students and educate them on the importance of the park, plant and wildlife found in the park, and the preservation that consists there. In addition to the center being beneficial to student/teacher use, daily visitors can use the center to educate themselves on things that they may see while in the park, ways to protect themselves from harm, and general information that the park provides.
The park also offers camping grounds at an additional cost to the entrance fee. Rolling M. Ranch campground has more than 20 developed sites and a restroom and shower facility. There are no hook-up or dump station facilities. This campground is convenient to the local communities for a quick getaway under the stars yet still close enough to urban life.
Despite the fact that Chino Hills State Park does not offer a typical kid-friendly playground facility, it still has mass appeal to the surrounding communities for an array of outdoor activities. The park provides physical, mental, and intellectual benefits to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and welcomes local or traveling visitors at a cost-friendly rate.
Appendix A
Chino Hills State Park, a premier natural open-space area in the hills of Santa Ana Canyon near Riverside, is a critical link in the Puente-Chino Hills biological corridor. It encompasses stands of oaks, sycamores and rolling, grassy hills that stretch nearly 31 miles, from the Santa Ana Mountains to the Whittier Hills. Chino Hills is vitally important as a refuge to many species of plants, and as a link between natural areas essential to the survival of many animal species.
Chino Hills is also a place where people can escape the pressures of urban life and find peace and solitude in a natural setting. Visitors can camp for a few days or simply enjoy a walk, horseback or bicycle ride over trails that meander through valleys and along ridge tops through woodlands, sage scrub and grasslands. Ninety miles of trails and fire roads also offer excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife and native plants. Facilities consist of a picnic area, equestrian staging area, pipe corrals, a historic barn, water spigots and restrooms. Most of the trails accept multiple use. However, a few trails are designated for hiking only, because of safety issues or the potential for damage to habitat. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=648 Appendix B
(All information as of 2012, www.city-data.com)
Yorba Linda:
Population: 66,735 Males: 32,768 Females: 33,967
Average Income: $115,194
Chino Hills:
Population: 76,457 Males: 37,894 Females: 38,563
Average Income: $82,241
Brea:
Population: 40,330 Males: 19,272 Females: 21,058
Average Income: $78,164
Corona:
Population: 158,391 Males: 79,320 Females: 79,071
Average Income: $75,390

Appendix C
All, A., Loving, G., & Crane, L. (1999, July 1). Animals, Horseback Riding, and Implications for Rehabilitation Therapy. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/rehabilitacion-equino/therapeutic_riding.pdf

Brea Olinda School District, “Schools,” http://www.bousd.k12.ca.us/schools/default.asp.

Chino Hills State Park. (2014, January 1). Retrieved October 26, 2014, from http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=648

Evans, L. (n.d.). Physical, Social, Emotional & Intellectual Benefits of Outdoor Recreation. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/physical-social-emotional-intellectual-benefits-outdoor-recreation-3188.html

Liles, B. (2011, July 1). Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center Interpretation Project Plan. Retrieved October 26, 2014, from http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/files/chino hills final ipp.pdf…...

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