National Meeting of the Great River Road

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Mississippi River Parkway Commission
National Meeting of the Great River Road
September 17, 2020

9am
Travel Along the Great River Road: Stories from the Spine of the Nation

Doug Bourgeois, Ass’t Secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism

Take a virtual drive to some of America’s iconic attractions and visit the characters and communities that make up the colorful tapestry of the Mississippi River Valley. Along the way, tap into local resources to help you tell the story of America’s Greatest Drive.

10am
Getting Off the Road to the River

John Anfinson, Superintendent, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area; Co-Chair MRPC Culture & Heritage Committee (St. Paul, MN)
Kurt Strand, President & CEO, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA)
Adam Long, Director, Arkansas State Heritage Sites, Arkansas State University
Shelley Ritter, Director, Delta Blues Museum (Clarksdale, MS)

The superintendent of the Mississippi River’s national park will host officials from three Great River Road Interpretive Centers who will showcase how they’ve stayed connected with travelers while their facilities have been closed due to Covid-19.

11am
River to the Heart

Eddy Harris – author, filmmaker and traveler

Harris will discuss the stories and sights of his two canoe trips down the Mississippi River, the latest of which he documented with a small camera crew for his film, “River to the Heart.” Harris’ film shows that all Americans, regardless of skin color, should be able to enjoy iconic outdoor adventures like traveling along the Mississippi River.

Noon
The Clean Water Connection to Great River Road Travel

Rep. Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4th District Congresswoman; Chair, Interior and Environmental Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee

She will discuss the connection between clean water and the effect it has on regional tourism. Her talk will be followed by an introduction to the Mississippi River Committee of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and remarks by Sabrina Chandler, Manager, Upper Mississippi River Refuge, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois

1pm
Plan for the Future – The Promise of Multi-Modal Great River Road Travel

Ciara Schlichting, Midwest Director, Toole Design, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota

A presentation and follow-up participation in a discussion about the future of transportation planning for communities along the river, including multi-modal transportation, scenic overlook planning and more.

2pm
Update: Status of National Scenic Byway Funding and What it will Take to Get to the Goal

Mark Falzone, President, Scenic America, Washington, DC

Falzone will update attendees on the continuing efforts to secure funding for scenic byways, congratulate MRPC commissions on their applications for All American Road status and take questions.