Welcome to the Fermata weblog! On these pages we try to describe the nature and breadth of our work in sustainable recreation and tourism. Yes, that’s a mouthful, and not wholly accurate. But describing what we do is difficult. Showing what we do is much simpler.
So what is a fermata (a question that we are constantly asked)?
The fermata is a musical symbol, often called the “bird’s eye.” The fermata directs a musician to hold a note longer than indicated by the note value. In other words, the musician should sustain the musical tone until directed to continue with the score.
The fermata, in this sense of sustain, inspired Ted Eubanks to launch Fermata (the company) in 1992. He began with a rotary-dial telephone and a pick-up truck, and a fervent belief in private sector solutions for social issues such as conservation. Ted also believed that by connecting people to special places they would see value in their protection. Fermata believes this still.
What We Do
Interpretive Print Media
Conservation Landscape Strategic Planning
Parks and Protected Lands Planning
Tourism Presentations and Workshops
Recreation Presentations and Workshops
Heritage Presentation and Workshops
Media Presentations and Workshops
Branding Presentations and Summits
Marketing Presentations and Summits
Economic Impacts of Recreation and Tourism Activities
Economic Feasibility Studies
Willingness to Pay Surveys
Sustainable Economic Development
Sustainable Tourism Planning
Sustainable Recreation Planning
Agritourism Planning and Development
Ecotourism Planning and Development
Heritage Tourism Planning and Development
Nature Tourism Planning and Development
Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development
Marketing and Branding
Trails and Byways
Corridor Management Plans
Land and Water Trail Design
Scenic Byway Enhancements
Interpreter and Guide Training
Interpretive Host Training
We began by conceptualizing and developing the first birding trail in the world – the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. We had a simple aspiration – to connect people to special places to experience nature through birds. Working with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Texas birding trails eventually stretched to cover the state (as well as being broadened to include all wildlife). Now we have worked on birding and wildlife trails in numerous states, including Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. All connect people to nature.
From the initial viewing trail projects we expanded into physical trails (such as in Cook Forest State Park in Pennsylvania), scenic byways (such as Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway in Kansas and Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail), and heritage areas (such as the Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area). A number of these projects connect people not to just nature but to the historical and cultural heritage of a place. From the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania to the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, we labor to turn over each rock in our search for what makes each place special.
Since the elements that comprise “place” are complex and diverse, Fermata continues to explore different ways of understanding and expressing the importance of place. In recent years we have focused on using new technologies for our work, including social media (see the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail in Indiana). From the design and installation of interpretive signs, trail guides, SmartTrails, audio guides, and websites, to aiding communities, agencies, and countries in understanding the value of their special places, our work remains riveted on a simple path – connect.
President Theodore Roosevelt admonished his fellow citizens to do what you can, with what you have, where you are. We have taken his words to heart. We work with inherited resources, and aid communities, agencies, individuals, and countries in taking advantage, sustainably, of what they already have in place. In these difficult economic times, aren’t we all are making do with what we have?
Our work can be distilled into two words – people, places. In a world rapidly being reduced to an homogeneous goo, we strive to reveal the special qualities (nature, culture, history) of each place we work. From Chicago to China, Fermata is on a quest. We hope to help others enjoy, appreciate, and save what makes them different, singular. Let us help you understand, enhance, interpret, and protect your special places.
Please wander through the blog’s pages. Wonder where we work? Check out these pages. Want to see images of where we work? No problem; take a look at our gallery. Our library is where you will find copies of our work. News about our latest happenings and projects can be found on the blog page. See, it’s all here!