With a reputation as Shangri-La, a noted commitment to its natural and cultural resources, and a long history as a sanctuary for spiritual and physical rejuvenation, Ojai seems perfectly poised to join in the growing global trend of Ecotourism. On Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15, an interactive forum will be held to explore the possibilities of bringing together the Ojai Valley’s unique assets for an Ecotourism initiative, with the goal of creating a plan of action.
Taking place at Meditation Mount Conference Center, and sponsored by the Ojai Valley Green Coalition and the Ojai Forum on the New Economy, the Ecotourism Conference will include panelists and speakers from businesses and organizations including the Ojai Chamber of Commerce, the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, local farms, environmental organizations, spiritual centers, and lodging and transportation businesses, among others. Topics include potential ecotourism packages and itineraries, ecotourism models in other communities, eco-certification programs for businesses, the potential for community and environmental improvement and economic development, leadership structure and seed funding possibilities.
“The intent of this conference is to begin a conversation among the businesses and organizations in the Ojai Valley that are already offering services which could be included as part of ecotourism,” says conference organizer Mike Weaver. “We want to explore how an Ecotourism initiative could benefit Ojai’s environment, economy, and strengthen our community.”
The Ojai Valley Green Coalition, with the mission of advancing a green, sustainable, and resilient Ojai Valley, is the non-profit organization leading the initiative. “Our vision is for Ojai to be a place where people can come and learn and have great experiences, then bring back innovation and inspiration to benefit their lives and their home communities,” says Kathy Nolan, Green Coalition board president.
The conference takes place from 9:30 am to 4 pm on Saturday, April 14, and from 10 am to 1 pm on Sunday, April 15. Space is limited, and registration is required. A $35 registration fee covers lunch on Saturday and refreshments. Meditation Mount Conference Center is located at 10340 Reeves Road in Ojai. Click here to register and for further information.