Creativity Shining Through: A Geotourism Analysis in Spring Green, Wisconsin
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Canoeing down the Lower Wisconsin River, paddlers encounter a variety of the state's natural and cultural wonders; blue herons stepping through marshes, rolling bluffs set against the open sky, and local residents casting lines off wooden docks. Our group's research interests span the discipline of geography, linking people with environment and evaluating ways in which they use their space, much like a paddler observes his or her surroundings. Our particular interests include sustainable tourism, working to provide incentives to protect natural areas, encouraging a vested interest in conserving biodiversity, urban parks and green space, and ecotourism as a form of community development. Combining our interests, we analyzed geotourism in Spring Green, as defined by National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations, a forerunner in the emerging field of geotourism. Our research and conclusions are valuable to the Spring Green community, whose motto is "Creativity Shining Through" because they shed light on the impact of the area's tourist industry. The geotourism industry is a phenomenon generally applied to international or well-known places. However, we feel this project is an interesting complement to existing research, as well as our personal research endeavors.