On the heels of Living At Your Peak in mid September, the Antlers is honored to be hosting some of the Elevate program September 25 – 28. This event will explore how to create, as well as maintain “special places”. Although each of these three-day programs deal with very different elements of sustainability, they are similar in that they are NOT your typical conference. Each of them want to stress active participation by the attendees with the hopes of creating a long lasting relationship between the presenters, those that attend and the program itself.
In the case of Elevate, the organizers (Connie and Mark Woodbury) hope and expect the presenters to come away with as much personal growth as their “audience”. I can personally vouch for the likelihood of that, as I was fortunate enough to attend the same event last year in Queensland, Australia. Connie and Mark arranged for a contingency from Vail, including the Mayor, some senior town officials and me, to present Vail’s story (past, present and future) to those in attendance. In the course of explaining what makes Vail a special place, the conversation was every bit as educational for us as it was for those to whom we spoke.
For anyone who has a passing interest in “creating places”, whether it’s an architect, a land use planner or just about anyone who ponders their role in the community beyond what it means just to them, this three day program will not only be enriching, but downright fun. Mark and Connie have recently relocated from just north of Brisbane to beautiful downtown Eagle, Colorado. Australia’s loss is our gain. They’ve already become great friends of many of us in the Vail Valley, and definitely know how to have fun while carrying on a deep conversation at the same time.
Last year we met some of the presenters coming to Elevate in Vail, including the elders of the Butchulla people, indigenous to the Fraser Coast. Their Welcome to Country ceremony was both simple and moving. I felt humbled to the point of being more than a little choked up. Trust me, meeting them will be something you’ll remember for a long time, not to mention all the other fascinating characters that Mark and Connie have lined up.
I sure hope you can come attend one, or even both of these fabulous events coming in September. You’ll be glad you did.