LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—From hiking to biking, swimming to boating, the La Crosse area is rich in recreational opportunities.
Community leaders from all over the Upper Midwest met in La Crosse Thursday as part of the Outdoor Recreation Alliance.
Their goal is to turn the Upper Midwest into Nature's Place to Play.
The alliance said we can do that by having silent sports groups, like biking, bird watching and hiking, work together across county and state lines.
"If you're out side of the area, you don't realize the great canoeing and kayaking we have here," Marvin Wanders, Executive Director of Outdoor Recreation Alliance said. "You don't realize the world class biking we have, you don't realize the miles and miles of single track trail for hiking and running and mountain biking."
Another thing most people don't know, 65-percent of all migratory birds go right through our region and out our back door.
"So really we're kind of a voice to bring that together so it has a global brand for our region so that people start to understand how special this area is," Wanders said.
That's where the partnerships with places like the Wisconsin Department of Tourism come in.
They're working to tell everyone what Wisconsin has to offer; right now they're focusing on fun, the number one driver of tourism in the state.
"The nice thing about fun as marketing concept is fun means many things to many different people," David Spiegelberg, Regional Tourism Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Tourism said.
Spiegelberg said one thing he learned at the summit is what other states are doing to bring in visitors.
"Its always good for us to know what's happening in different parts of the county and hopefully that will spur some ideas on different initiatives that we may be able to use here in Wisconsin as far as travel and tourism development," Spiegelberg said.
That's the whole idea behind Nature's Place to Play, working together to make sure everyone knows all the wonderful things that can be found in the Upper Midwest.
For more information on the partnerships that make up the Seven Rivers Region Outdoor Recreation Alliance click here.
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