OIA Brings 2008 Volunteer Service Project to Boston

OIA and Timberland, along with the AMC and the Massachusetts DCR, have identified Stony Brook Reservation as the site of this year’s annual Volunteer Service Project, held in conjunction with the OIA Rendezvous.
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On Thursday, October 2, Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) Rendezvous™ conference attendees will have an opportunity to roll up their sleeves for an afternoon of community service at one of Boston's oldest parks. OIA and Timberland, along with The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), have identified Stony Brook Reservation in the West Roxbury and Hyde Park neighborhoods as the site of this year's annual Volunteer Service Project, held in conjunction with the OIA Rendezvous on Thursday, October 2, from 1:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m.

This year marks New England-based Timberland's 10th anniversary of support for the OIA service project. Using Timberland's Green Service Standard as one evaluation metric, several city sites were evaluated by the team. Stony Brook was chosen because it meets a grassroots community need; “reduce, reuse and recycle” practices are in place at the park; and opportunities exist to engage and educate the local residents. The Massachusetts DCR has a master plan of projects, park management and community education programs in place, ensuring that the work accomplished during the service project will continue to be built upon, used and appreciated by the surrounding community for years to come.

The Stony Brook Reservation is among the first five parks established in 1894 to create the Boston Parks System, the first metropolitan park system in the U.S. With 550 acres of scenic landscape, it is the largest forested open space in the city of Boston. It is one of several Reservations established to complement Frederick Law Olmstead's Emerald Necklace. While Stony Brook's pool, skating rink and ball fields are well used, the trail system needs signage, marking and clearing to make it more accessible for exploration by urban residents.

With the help of the AMC, the Massachusetts DCR and City Year of Boston, the 2008 Volunteer Service Project promises to continue our tradition of service by leaving a Boston recreation area in better shape then when we first arrive. Anticipating over 250 volunteers, this year's service project will be the largest to date. Volunteers will be divided into small teams (in close proximity to each other), to blaze a main trail, install sign posts, mount signs, clear brush, plant trees and potentially rehabilitate a fishing dock. Ranging from light labor to more strenuous work, the projects are all part of a larger effort to help enable Boston residents to move beyond the parking lot and explore the natural landscape available at Stony Brook. Hard-toed shoes and long pants are required for volunteers to work with tools. Gloves and tools will be provided, and no previous experience is necessary.

Since 1996, outdoor industry members have worked to improve hundreds of miles of trails and over fifty facilities, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to get outside and be active in their communities. Projects have ranged from clearing brush, improving trails, installing erosion and drainage features to painting signs, general park clean-up and repairing/building picnic facilities in areas as diverse as Garden of the Gods, Colorado; Johnson Basin Trail in Uinta National Forest, Utah; McClellan Island in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Blandford Canyon Trail in urban Vancouver, Washington. This popular event not only provides the satisfaction of hard work and giving back to the community, but also provides unsurpassed camaraderie with industry peers in an informal setting.

Held at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts, September 30 through October 2, 2008, the 13th annual Rendezvous conference will feature globally prominent speakers to engage attendees in dialogue and discovery and explore new ideas, trends and business models. Topics include emerging markets and trends, sustainable business practices, global issues and economics, retail trends and models, management and CEO coaching, as well as aspirational presentations for the armchair adventurer. Featured speakers include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; economist Clyde Prestowitz; Joel Makower of Greener World Media; Ken Rudin of National Public Radio; futurist and trend spotter, Marian Salzman of JWT Worldwide; and adventurer and film maker Jon Bowermaster.

For complete service project and Rendezvous program information or to register, visit http://www.outdoorindustry.org.

About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.