As the marketing and outreach maven of the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT), I was invited to attend a conference on Friday in Brockville to hear an update about RiverQuest – a Canadian-based “initiative created and launched by Brockville’s Aquatarium. It’s focused on one of the most unique destinations in North America, the 1000 Island region of the St. Lawrence River.”
First of all, I’m personally very excited about the Aquatarium. It looks like it will be on par with the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, but much closer to drive to! And the communal aspect of RiverQuest really hits home for me. “We are all stronger together” and “we will flourish through openness and cooperation” (via the Eastern Ontario Network) are just a couple, very accurate things that have been said about RiverQuest (and collaboration in general).
Anyone who knows me knows I am BIG on collaboration, and resiliant communities. Nothing bothers me more than people, businesses and organizations who are only out for themselves; who may do things for their community, but only if it’s picked up by the local news. Sure, the initial focus of RiverQuest was to bring attention to the Aquatarium as a future tourist destination, but instead of just working on internal promotion, they are widening the net to include their neighbors, on BOTH sides of the River. Visitors to the RiverQuest website can learn more about individual organizations/destinations or start by exploring outward, from a River community of their choice. Day-trips or weekend excursions can be planned based on the suggested “quests,” or you can earn redeemable points by taking “quest challenges” at kiosks located at partner organizations. The future possibilities are endless!
TILT was on-board months ago, from the moment RiverQuest was pitched to us. I am so excited that they have taken the steps to create a website like this, and continue to be blown away by the quality and professionalism of what they’re doing. As someone who personally didn’t know much about the 1000 Islands before I moved here a few years ago, I am hopeful that our local community will evolve into a much larger, national and international, one.
As the New England aphorism goes “a rising tide lifts all boats!”