Five members of the Mohawk Towpath Byway team have spent three days in Denver and the surrounding area representing our local communities at the National Scenic Byway Conference. This provided an excellent opportunity in training and networking with other grass routes byway officials across the country including those from other America’s Byways, from federal government agencies, and a handful of state Byway officials, and the America’s Byways Resource Center.
The Mohawk Towpath Byway took center stage early in the program with a kick off session discussing the Byway organization’s visioning and planning process. “Our program was touted as one of the Best Practices workshop sessions,” commented Eric Hamilton, Director of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition. “Feedback from participants and follow up discussion convinced our Byway that the presentation was very well received.”
“The Byway organization has been through two planning cycles that refine the organization’s objectives and evaluate progress in implementing the Byway’s Corridor Management Plan,” stated Ray Patterson, of Capital Consulting Group. This process is of great interest to the National Byway community.
The National Conference provided training opportunities and ideas for improving the Byway experience along the 26 miles of our local Mohawk Towpath Byway. Some of the ideas that evolved included more interpretive opportunities along the Byway. John Scherer and Larry Syzdek will be following up with this initiative. Another idea was to foster a broader appreciation of scenic and historic preservation. Henrietta O’Grady and Eric Hamilton will be following up on this initiative. Ray Patterson will be facilitating a third round of brainstorming and planning for the implementation of the Corridor Management Plan for the coming year. All our stakeholders will share in that process.
The trip was a real learning experience both for the Byway as well as for me… I could not get acclimated to the altitude and a run on the third day there proved to me that I just cannot get enough oxygen to run more than a mile in the mile high city. Man am I glad to be back and running at home.