|The Lumber Heritage Team|
“PA Wilds Fall Workshop: Connecting Nature, Economy, and Community Character,” was held Nov. 8-9 at the Red Fern and attracted nine teams from several different counties looking to advance sustainable tourism projects important to their areas and that revolve around the region’s natural and cultural assets.
|The Port Allegany Team|
a group from Elk County looking at creating the “Boulderdash” adventure race that links land stewardship, outdoor recreation and health improvement goals;
a region-wide team working on long-term sustainability of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail;
a trails team from Clarion County looking to develop a strategic plan;
a team of businesses from Jefferson County looking to establish their area of the Wilds as a destination for corporate wellness programs and retreats;
a team from Clearfield County working on revitalization efforts in Curwensville and connections to the West Branch Susquehanna Water Trail;
a team from the Lumber Heritage Region working on their organization’s management plan update;
a team from Tioga County that wants to better link natural and cultural assets to boost tourism;
a team from McKean County working on downtown revitalization in Port Allegany;
and a team from Potter County looking to capitalize on increased foot traffic to Cherry Springs Dark Skies Park by positioning a nearby town to be a gateway to the park.
Teams were structured to include a diverse membership with participants being community leaders, elected officials, business owners, land managers and tourism professionals.
|The PA Wilds Artisan Trail Team|
|Galeton Dark Skies Team|
The conference, offered by the PA Wilds Planning Team, is similar to one the group held in 2007, which led to several successful community-driven tourism projects in the region.
“Residents know best what projects have potential in their areas, but it is sometimes hard to find the time or opportunity to get the right people around the table to advance these good ideas or tie them into what is going on regionally with tourism,” said Planning Team Chair Dan Glotz. “The fall conference is just a first step for the teams. Our hope is the participants will build on the plans they developed at the workshop – and that they’ll be in a better position to do that now that they are connected into the regional network that is the backbone of the Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative.”