2018 State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop to Focus on Health and Wellness

On Thursday, October 18, at The 2018 SHIFT Festival, SHIFT will hold its third annual State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop.

Presented by The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, the workshop will be held on 8 a.m. — 12 p.m., and will provide participants with strategies they can use in developing health and wellness opportunities in their states.

Tickets for the workshop, which may be purchased here, include breakfast. For more information on the workshop, click here.

The 2018 workshop will develop the three points related to Public Health and Wellness that were articulated in the recently released Confluence Accords:

  • Address social determinants of health by increasing outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
  • Partner with health & wellness stakeholders to determine shared values and common goals, build relationships, and generate innovative partnerships to fulfill shared visions.
  • Assist in quantifying impacts of access to outdoor recreation and related social determinants on healthcare outcomes and costs.

The workshop will be informed by Colorado OREC’s Outdoor Recreation and Health Collaborative as well as health and wellness initiatives and developments from other states. Its objective is to provide participants with strategies for achieving the goals outlined in the Public Health and Wellness pillar of the Accords.

Background: On November 1, 2017, as part of the 2017 SHIFT Festival, SHIFT held its Second Annual State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop in Jackson, WY. The workshop was designed to develop a “toolkit” for the creation of state offices of outdoor recreation.

The 2017 workshop was moderated by Cailin O’Brien-Feeney with assistance from Brad Petersen and Janette Heung, Colorado’s Deputy Director. Panelists included:

  • Domenic Bravo, Administrator, Wyoming Parks, Historic Sites and Trails Division
  • Noah Wilson, Executive Director, Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina
  • Adam Baylor, Stewardship and Advocacy Manager, Mazamas
  • Rachel VandeVoort, Director, Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Michael Snyder, Commissioner, Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation

Panelists shared lessons learned from their efforts to create offices in a panel discussion format. As was the case with the 2016 Workshop, a panel discussion was followed by breakout groups in which participants worked in teams to develop actionable plans for office creation in their respective regions.

Click here to download an overview of ideas, tools, and lessons learned during the 2017 workshop.

In 2017, as several more states were establishing leadership positions, the State of Colorado saw an opportunity to foster a shared vision for the future of the outdoors, to share best practices and, ideally, create a set of cross-state policy principles for maximizing the sector’s many benefits. At the urging of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the state’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, led by Luis Benitez, set up the process for convening the “ORec 8” for this shared undertaking. The result of this work was the first-ever Confluence Summit, which took place in Denver on January 24, 2018, and was attended by approximately 100 delegates and staff.

Leading up to the summit and at the event, the delegations began to develop a collaborative working document titled “The Colorado Accords.” The document aimed to define a collective vision and set of principles in four broad and important areas:

  • Economic development
  • Conservation and stewardship
  • Education and workforce development
  • Public health and wellness

In July, 2018, in Asheville, North Carolina, with support from REI, The Asheville Confluence Summit built on this groundbreaking work. The result was the Confluence Accords, signed, after seven months of collective effort, by representatives from the eight states with formal offices of outdoor recreation.

The Accords outline shared best-practice principles in the four categories identified by the Colorado Accords. Representatives from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington were all signatories.

The delegations from each of the eight states are scheduled to meet at the Confluence Summit in January 2019, where four more states (Kansas, Michigan, Arkansas, and Maryland) plan to sign onto the accords.

SHIFT’s 2018 State Offices of Outdoor Recreation Workshop will provide participants at the January 2019 Confluence Summit additional material with which to develop health and wellness initiatives in their states.


Rocket Fuel