Join The Winding Road Initiative for a chance to make the region’s environment, economy and communities just a lil’ bit stronger, healthier, happier and more attractive at an Outdoor Recreation/Environmental Learning Meet Up! The Meet-Up will take place on Thursday afternoon, January 18th in Shawnee, Ohio (43782). We will gather from 3-5PM at the Winding Road MarketPlace/Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area headquarters at 117 West Main Street, just across the street from the Tecumseh Theater. Complimentary, locally sourced snacks and microbrew will be available. Arrive early for a Pre-Meet Up Winter Hike on the Buckeye Trail departing at 1:30PM that afternoon from the Buckeye Trail Association headquarters at 127 West Main. Shawnee is located in the Wayne National Forest at the intersections of State Routes 93 & 155 in southern Perry County.
Nonprofits such as Rural Action, Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, Buckeye Trail Association and others are actively organizing efforts and sourcing funds to improve our ecotourism/geotourism infrastructure. We need your participation to create synergy, collaboration, cooperation and ultimately success. At the Meet-Up we will use a fast-paced conversational/survey format to:
- Review existing assets/stakeholders identified for the outdoor/environmental sector and identify additional assets/stakeholders and missing/needed outdoor recreation products;
- Review and plan shared marketing (catalog, web site, social media) activities of the Winding Road to date and make plans for the future;
- Hear about a recently approved seed grant that will help us collaboratively look at/create a Co-Op for Interpretive Guides in the Winding Road region;
- Review shared Winding Road training, technical assistance activities (NAI Guide Training, Stakeholder Gatherings, Sector meetings, study trips) to date, and make plans the future;
- Identify targeted funding needs for ecotourism ventures of stakeholders, as well as for collaborative ventures in the form of grants, loans, earned income and investments;
- Identify infrastructure needs to support growth (site development, tour transportation, lodging, marketing, way-finding signage, technology, etc.)
- Identify and attract people/businesses to develop outdoor rec products and attracting the human resources needed to assist emerging ventures.
- Identify opportunities for students to engage, learn and become our next generation of outdoor economy leaders.
So, come on over, take a hike, share a beer (or wine or coffee), conversation and ideas, and let’s figure out how we are going to incubate a collaborative, stewarded, and economically sustainable Outdoor Economy here in our own backyard.