Many of us enjoy outdoor recreation. Fortunately for us, Fillmore County is blessed with the availability of a variety of outdoor recreational activities. A summit will be held on March 29 (8:30 a.m. to noon) at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center to recognize the economic value/impact realized by Fillmore County, local businesses, and groups involved in outdoor recreation.
The summit will be hosted by the Fillmore County Economic Development Authority and sponsored by MiEnergy.
The county EDA is authorized by the county board to “encourage growth and development of the county.” Outdoor recreation is one avenue to growth and development.
Marty Walsh has served the county as EDA director since October 2017. One of a number of subjects he has pursued is the creation of a Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Map.
A Saint Mary’s University masters student, Peter McColl, has worked to assemble details to provide a truly comprehensive map which will include water access, fishing sites, campsites, natural features, a variety of trails to be used for bikes, hiking, ATVs, snowmobiles, horses, and water, designated trout streams, parks, roads, and state land. People will be able to highlight the layer/activity they are interested in and print out a map if desired. McColl will be present to launch the comprehensive map which will soon be available on the Fillmore County website.
Walsh will speak about the effect of recreation on the economic health of the county and EDA efforts to better serve the county. Headwaters Economics, an independent non-partisan research organization, has found that rural counties with more recreational opportunities drew more new residents with higher income and faster earning growth than places without recreation.
According to the Explore Minnesota tourism industry website gross sales during 2017 in Fillmore County’s leisure and hospitality industry were just shy of $22 million. Outdoor recreation brings in tourism and makes it more of an attractive place for people to live. Lisa Havelka will speak for Explore Minnesota on the value of tourism.
Brian Kugel will describe an app he is launching. “GoAdvntr is building a marketplace to enable adventurous people to share their passions, gear, and stories with others.” He is Winona based and is working to provide another tool for businesses to grow.
County Attorney Brett Corson will discuss state recreation easement law and laws involving agri-tourism.
Bluff Country Hiking Club, which built and maintains the Lost Creek Hiking Trail used for hiking and snowshoeing, will be represented by Tim Gossman.
Jeff Broberg, National Trout Center, will be on hand to discuss the impact of trout fishing.
For those of you that may not be interested in outdoor recreation, the summit can provide an opportunity to network with people who care about the county and its future.
If you would like to register for this event or have other questions about Economic Development in Fillmore County, you can contact Marty Walsh at email@example.com.