Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin was amongst the 35 park advocates, representing 15 groups from across the country, who gathered in Austin, Texas in November to exchange information and share the challenges and opportunities facing organizations that support state parks and historic sites on a statewide basis.
The participants, from North Carolina, California, Minnesota and 12 other states, may have represented organizations with different goals, approaches and styles but they had one thing in common: a passion for state parks and historic and cultural sites.
On the agenda for the three-day gathering was strategic communications, the value of major gift fundraising, how to engage constituents aged 21-40, and the value of memberships. However, the most important part of the conference was undoubtedly the times in between the formal sessions, when participants were able to network and ask each other informal questions. High on everyone’s list was how to best support the thousands of friends groups that work so hard on behalf of state parks and historic sites.
The group plans to meet annually to continue to strengthen the state parks movement nationwide.