There is a measure of play in all that we do. By play we mean time spent simply having fun. Fun is a squishy term, a soft-edged word defined by each of us, individually. Fun to you is not necessarily fun to me. Yet there are enough people who agree that hiking, biking, rafting, camping, birding, simply spending time outdoors, and more are fun to make us a viable concern. To you, we say thanks!
Fermata (with Texas Parks and Wildlife) developed the first birding trail in the world, the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Our founder, Ted Eubanks, is a birder, and he hoped that the trails would be fun for others like himself. From that inauspicious project Fermata has now either developed, inspired, or consulted on birding and wildlife trails in virtually every state and a number of foreign countries (for example, check out the Zulu Birding Route). Birding trails soon expanded to include all wildlife, as in our projects in Virginia and Oklahoma. We even developed an Elk Scenic Drive in Pennsylvania.
Our trails work gradually expanded to include not only assessing and designing the routes, but also writing the text, designing the guides, creating interpretive signs, and, recently, using new technologies to take trails to the web (for example, the Louisiana birding trails). In Kansas we are developing a series of discovery trails, based on SmartTrail technology. Not all that we do now is so high-tech. We also develop strategies for traditional physical trails, such as in Cook Forest State Park.
Fermata has been engaged in projects that address outdoor recreation in its entirety. For example, we prepared an over-arching assessment of recreation in the state of Pennsylvania. Working with the NSRE, we addressed a broad range of recreations, looked at growth trends, and helped PA DCNR better connect their facilities to market demand. This recreation strategy remains one of the most exhaustive that we have prepared for a state.
Fermata Inc. is deeply involved in developing parks and recreation strategies throughout the nation (and world, for that matter). In recent months Fermata completed a strategic opportunity plan for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Additionally, Fermata recently completed a strategic plan for the Metroparks of the Toledo Region. Fermata is also working with Asakura-Robinson to develop a new park recreation and tourism plan for Richland County, South Carolina.
Ted Lee Eubanks, our founder and president, has recently contributed a chapter to a new textbook on outdoor recreation planning. The textbook, Outdoor Recreation Planning, is available from Sagamore Publishing both as an ebook as well as a printed textbook.