Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Value of Outdoor Festivals to PA Communities

Paddlers on the Susquehanna River, Source: PennLive.com
The A.T. Community designation celebration and town-wide outdoors festival themed "Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder" hopes to resonate beyond June 2012.  The concept of an Outdoor Festival as a means to promote sustainable economic development by linking economy, society and nature is not a new one in Pennsylvania.  Sustainable Pittsburgh's "Guide for Organizing an Outdoor Festival" explains it best:
  • Outdoor recreation is a magnet for people of all ages and integral to the changed image of a region.
  • Outdoor recreation contributes to equity by serving all people and narrowing the disparities gap.
  • Participating in outdoor recreation contributes to healthy lifestyles for young and old.
  • Outdoor enjoyment leads to awareness, appreciation, and likely action by all to be better stewards of the environment at home, at work, and at play.
  • In common with Pennsylvania's two biggest industries - agriculture and tourism - recreation amenities are resource-based strategies for significant economic development.
  • Recreation resources such as trails, watershed, connected parks, rivers and streams know no political boundaries.

Promotion of amenities within regions and communities can lead to legitimate economic development in the form of jobs, tourism, and vitality.

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