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Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference Kicks off New Programs

February 10, 2016

[FERNDALE] – The Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference, Building Beautiful, Healthy and Active Communities is designed to inspire participants to continue the hard work of making Sullivan County look and feel its best. 


The conference will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Everyone is invited to learn about new programs for 2016 and how they can become involved.  The facility is ADA compliant and there will be simultaneous translation in Spanish.  Admission is free.


Keynote speaker, Mark Fenton, a national public health, planning and transportation consultant, will describe how communities can be more inviting to physical activities such as walking and bicycling, thereby improving health.  “The big news is the very things we do to encourage healthier lifestyles also create more beautiful, appealing, and functional settings, more vibrant local economies, and more sustainable physical environments,” said Fenton.  In addition to the keynote, Municipal Partnership Grants will be awarded to communities addressing specific challenges in each of their towns or villages. Renaissance Awards to recognize individuals, businesses and organizations for their efforts to enhance Sullivan County will be presented.  


The afternoon will feature breakout sessions dealing with distressed properties, transforming community gateways into welcoming spaces, and how to add curb appeal to homes and businesses.  Outreach Salons, available in English or Spanish, will welcome anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to learn more about Sullivan Renaissance and explore ways to reach out to diverse communities.  


Mark Fenton will return for an afternoon plenary session about implementing healthy community designs, understanding the technical details, and identifying funding.  He will discuss tools ranging from pilot installations and demonstration projects to policy changes.


Guests will be able to shop for market items from local vendors and explore the garden expo. Complimentary pedometers and information will be offered to participants who avail themselves to free health screenings. The event closes with an optional interpretive walk of the Bethel Woods grounds.


For details about the conference, call Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445.  To register online, go to . To download a brochure, go to:             

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.