Kansas Built Environment and Outdoors Summit coming to Wichita in September

07/04/2014 2:34 PM

07/04/2014 2:34 PM

The eighth annual Kansas Built Environment and Outdoors Summit, which aims to improve the health of Kansans, will be Sept. 16-18 at the Hotel at Old Town, 830 E. First St.

“The goal of the conference is to bring every stakeholder together because it takes all sectors of society to change the environment we’ve boxed ourselves into: city planners, health professionals, community coalitions, park rangers, educators,” said Elizabeth Stewart, program officer for healthy living and active communities at the Sunflower Foundation, which helps host the event.

“We want people to be inspired by speakers and case studies and conversations with each other and to see what other Kansas communities are doing and bring that back home.”

Some of the sessions at the conference focus on trail construction, rules and regulations for farmers markets, grant writing, community supported agriculture, enhancing outdoor learning spaces. and a bike audit of downtown Wichita.

Keynote speakers include Mark Winne, a community food activist, and Ed McMahon with the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit organization involved in land use and urban planning.

The conference is held in a different city each year.

A couple of years ago, conference attendees from Colby heard speakers talk about how to start building trails in town, Stewart said. That inspired them to do grant writing and fundraising to create trails in Colby.

“Now their motto is to become the ‘Most Walkable Town in Kansas,’ ” Stewart said.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.kansasbeos.org.

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