You’ve Made 2017 an Amazing Year!
As we begin to look forward to 2018 and all that it will bring, it is a perfect time to reflect on this year before its close. And what a year it has been for the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance!
You have made it possible for this young organization to accomplish much! Without our partners, donors, and volunteers, we would still be at the starting gate. But with the time, energy, heart, soul, and dollars contributed by you – we are well on our way.
Here are some highlights from the year:
State of the Outdoors Event (March)
We hosted our first annual State of the Outdoors event focused on the economic significance of outdoor recreation to our local economy, with 25 business and agency booths that welcomed conversation around their purposes.
COILSx Pikes Peak Region (April)
We hosted our first annual Colorado Outdoor Industry Leadership Summit – Pikes Peak Region, COILSx.
Get Outdoors Day (June)
In collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the City of Colorado Springs, we presented the second annual Get Outdoors Day at Prospect Lake, attended by 5,000 in our community.
501(C)(3) exempt status (August)
We received our exempt status from the IRS!
Pikes Peak Collaboration – PPORA, USFS, NFF (August)
We gathered 40 stakeholders to discuss how PPORA, the U.S. Forest Service – Pikes Peak District, and the National Forest Foundation can collaborate around shared values and issues, and launched three working groups around planning, education and volunteer management, and sustainable funding.
New Website for Consumers: pikespeakoutdoors.org (August start)
We developed a new website (January 2018 launch) as a “go to” resource for finding places to recreate, gear to rent or buy, businesses, guides and tours, friends groups, events, volunteer opportunities, and to educate the public on practicing good stewardship.
Hired Executive Director (September)
Adopted the SHIFT Principles (September)
We officially adopted the SHIFT Principles for Advancing Outdoor Recreation and Conservation.
PPORA Fall Rally (September)
We gathered the outdoor community to enjoy an evening of zip lining, and campfire discussion.
Envision the Peak Outdoor Forum (November)
We co-hosted this public forum in Cripple Creek focusing on Ring the Peak and the economic benefits of outdoor recreation.
Plan COS Outdoor Recreation Forum (November)
We gathered 30 stakeholders to provide direction and feedback to the PlanCOS team from our industry’s perspective.
In addition, we have advocated for greater protection of our public lands, improved access for the public, and reduced red tape for outfitters and guides through public comment on bills and amendments in our legislature.
We have shared our vision before the Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax Advisory Committee (LART), Colorado Springs City Council, and El Paso County Commissioners and welcome more opportunities.
We continue to represent our industry at local, regional, and state meetings and conferences, and we have lent our support to community initiatives in line with our goals, including the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative, which increases participation in outdoor activities among underserved populations, and the Waldo Canyon Trail Planning Grant through Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
As I said, it has been a productive year. But there is still much work for us to do. Our industry is coming together, but we still have silos. Many of our legislators don’t understand issues affecting our public lands and outdoor businesses and make uninformed decisions. We have an increasing influx of newcomers coming to our region who don’t understand the impacts they make to our landscapes or their vulnerability. I could go on and on, but these issues are not new to you, that’s why you have chosen to partner with PPORA. It is true that we are stronger together and when united we can make a difference for our community.
I invite you to lean in, get involved, invest in our outdoor future even more than you already have. Help us make 2018 a banner year! We cannot do any of this without you!
Have a wonderful holiday and fabulous start to your New Year!