uman Powered Trails, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is: “To develop and maintain first class sustainable and environmentally correct, human-powered, shared use trails for the La Crosse, WI region."
|IMBA World Summit Review - Behind the Scenes...|
|Written by Mike Charron|
|Friday, 27 June 2008 14:23|
Part of the reason for going to the Summit was to further our opportunity to develop an IMBA Ride Center in the La Crosse region. A Ride Center will help us leverage our ability to build more trail faster and develop the infrastructure to handle the increased workload that this will entail. We have been advised by IMBA that a major consideration in being selected as a Ride Center is that we have a "regional" viewpoint for bringing visitors to our area. There are reasons for this. For now, understand that IMBA needs a regional perspective to develop a Ride Center in an area. We knew we were one of twelve areas in the U.S. being considered. Our goal when going to the Summit was to become first on the list to develop another Ride Center.
HPT was taking Mr. Burkes' comments to heart even before we heard the words! Prior to leaving for the Summit, an idea developed. IMBA needs to see regional cooperation for a Ride Center; some of the rural areas around La Crosse are struggling economically. A Ride Center in our area will help the rural economy! Who is tasked with making an improvement? Our local gov't officials, among others!
We decided to "Ask somebody to do something great." Calls were made and Senator Dan Kapanke agreed to setup a meeting with individuals from the state gov't, local officials and business leaders to attend. At this early morning meeting, we explained and discussed the potential for our area if we were selected to become a Ride Center. All at the meeting saw the potential and asked us what we needed. We determined that a letter of endorsement on each officials' letterhead may be effective in communicating with IMBA our desire to become a "regional" destination. This developed into Sen Kapanke's office agreeing to pull together a DVD of our area to present to those IMBA officials who have never been to our area. Officials also obtained letters from others not in attendance at the meeting. This idea really took off!!! However, time was short and we had to scramble to pull this together. After running around for a week and numerous additional meetings, a "packet" of the letters and DVD was presented in person to IMBA officials at the Summit last week. Over the last two days of the Summit, various IMBA officials approached us with comments such as... "You made my day," "Awesome," and "you guys are ready!"
A big thank you is in order to many in our organization including those not in current "official" leadership roles. The staffs of the gov't officials also carried a load. Many people scrambled so that Dan, Aaron and Mike could professionally represent our area at the Summit. The result of all this expenditure of energy was that IMBA has agreed that the La Crosse area is ready to start working toward becoming an IMBA Ride Center and that IMBA will be targeting resources to our area, starting this fall, if not sooner. So, in a way, this is just an exciting beginning!!!
Want to learn more about IMBA Ride Centers? CLICK HERE
The packet we presented to IMBA included letters of support from the following individuals:
1. Kelli Trumble Secretary, Dept of Tourism, State of Wisconsin
2. Dan Kapanke Wisconsin State Senator
3. Mike Huebsch Speaker, Wisconsin State Assembly
4. Jennifer Schilling 95th Wisconsin State Assembly District
5. Lee Nerison 96th Wisconsin State Assembly District
6. Larry Kirch Director, La Crosse City Planning Dept.
7. Tom Faella Executive Director, La Crosse County Planning
8. Steve Doyle La Crosse County Executive
9. Michael Giese Mayor, City of Onalaska
10. Mark Johnsrud Mayor, City of La Crosse
11. Steve Carlyon Director Parks & Recreation Dept. City of La Crosse
12. Alan Lorenz Chair, Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission
13. Dave Clements Executive Director La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
14. Tim Jacobson Executive Director, Mississippit Valley Conservancy
15. Marvin Wanders Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions
16. Pete Taylor Owner, Blue Dog Cycles and Vernon County Trails, Inc.
17. Chris Jackson Owner, Mt. Borah and Vernon County Trails, Inc.