May 5, 9:30 AM, time to get our learn on.
After the opening general session, we were let loose in the lower levels of the Renaissance Hotel for a bit of workshop learnin’. I attend the IMBA workshop, “Making the Connection Between Recreation and Conservation”.
Key points from this session.
-Median age of membership at the Nature Conservancy is 62. Without younger, broad based support moving forward, the movement will fail.
-Human powered recreation can help save the conservation movement by getting people out and connected with Nature.
-Outdoor recreation is a $634 billion/yr. industry $160 billion just human powered recreation. Outdoor rec = jobs, jobs, jobs
-In the past there was fighting between conservation groups and “dirtbag” mountain bikers and climbers. The trend is moving toward collaboration as those “dirtbags” are growing up and becoming more professionals and organized in their approach.
Social Media as an Advocacy Tool.
This workshop had a panel of social media researchers and experts. Damon and I picked up a few pointers that I won’t bore you with. Be prepared, you’ll be seeing more of us on the internet very soon.
Quotes from the Luncheon/Ignite sessions.
“Extend yourself, add value, never complain, build momentum, bring out the best in others, possess an attitude of gratitude, stay positive” -Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong speaking in memory of Leslie Bohm. It was his personal mission statement.
“MAMIL stands for Middle Aged Men In Lycra” – Howard Chang, President and CEO of Top Drawer Creative , Toronto
My final workshop of the day was hosted by IMBA and focused mapping technology and how it can be used to promote trail systems. As a map geek, I was particularly interested in this session.
-IMBA is working on a multi-year campaign to catalog and map all of the mountain bike trails in the world.
-Trail Link is a similar project through Rails to Trails.
-According to Rails to Trails, Lincoln is #5 in the nation on the list of top Metropolitan Service areas with people living within 3mi of trails (90.3%).
-Bottom line: Building trail modeling tools measures proximity and connectivity of trails and identify gaps in trail systems. They help to increase the capacity to commute and have excellent return on investment.