I Can Climb! 2011
This program is designed to attract new audiences to Minnesota State Parks. Primarily young families and young adults that often look beyond state parks for their means of recreation, along with youth looking for an “extreme” or “adventure” experience. Programs will offer participants the opportunity to experience rock climbing, outdoors on real rock. This program targets the state’s climbing parks (Blue Mounds, Interstate and Tettegouche State Parks) by offering one “I Can Climb!” - rock climbing experience - every month from June to August at each of the climbing parks. These programs are designed to provide participants with a rock climbing experience intended to hook people on climbing and expose them to the outdoors. Each program will have a natural resource and stewardship component with an emphasis on Minnesota’s geological history and cliff dwelling plants and animals.
After some 50 years of growth, nature-based recreation turned a corner in the 1990s and is now declining on a per-capita basis in Minnesota and nationally. Per-capita visits to state and national parks, use of state trails, hunting, fishing, boating, wildlife watching, and wilderness use are all down. The primary contributing trend is a drop in participation by young adults (ages 20 to 40) and their children.
In 2011 our goal was to plan and host 9 programs to provide participants with an outdoor experience climbing on “real” rock on the most stunning cliff faces in the state.
In the pilot season of "I Can Climb!" (2011) we hosted 6 workshops 66% of initial goal. Due to the state government shutdown 3 workshops had to be canceled. Had the shutdown not taken place it is certain that we would have reached 100% of our initial goal and attracted significantly more participants. Overall 562 people experienced rock climbing (at 6 programs) through the “I Can Climb!” program in 2011.