The Cape Horn Trail recently provided the setting for international interaction with individuals hailing from Georgia, a sovereign state located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
Four professionals, representing Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas (Imereti Caves, Mtirala National Park and Tusheti Protected Areas) were accompanied by two interpreters.
At the trail, the group participated in maintenance and stewardship efforts in removing invasive species.
Teresa Robbins, Cape Horn Conservancy president, provided information, strategies and historical context in response to questions. She said several themes emerged though the conversations, including the need for successful collaboration of non-profits and government agencies, the ethic of volunteerism, and “how to” in attracting and engaging volunteers.
“It is interesting that these young professionals, charged with the development, maintenance and protection of special areas in their country, experience many of the same challenges we face here in the National Scenic Area,” Robbins said. “Such as, encouraging recreational users to also become caretakers and stewards of the lands they enjoy. Or optimizing collaborative efforts in difficult economic times to achieve quality results. They, too, are engaged in conservation activities to ensure environmental sustainability and bio-diversity while encouraging the development of eco-tourism.”
The Cape Horn Trail has benefitted from literally thousands of hours of volunteer effort through Cape Horn Conservancy and other non-profit organizations such as Washington Trails Association and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, according to a press release.
“Comments from multiple hikers indicate appreciation that the trail is in ‘great shape’ and ‘beautifully maintained’,” Robbins said. “I’m glad our Georgian visitors had the chance to hear that as well.”
The visit was sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of State as part of its International Visitor Leadership Program, and arranged by Graduate School USA. The World Affairs Council of Oregon began the connection with the Cape Horn Conservancy and annually hosts some 400 emerging leaders from around the world.