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Former host of “America’s Walking” to speak at Renaissance Conference

February 17, 2016

[FERNDALE] – Nationally recognized public health, planning, and transportation consultant, Mark Fenton, will deliver the keynote address at Sullivan Renaissance’s Annual Conference, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The conference “Building Beautiful, Healthy and Active Communities” will take place in the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y.  Doors will open at 9:00 a.m.

Fenton’s keynote, Creating Healthy Communities with Stickier Designs, will address the idea that simply telling people to exercise more has been ineffective.  Communities can be built to encourage walking and bicycling use as a routine part of daily life.  “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. This thought provoking presentation will offer a picture of “stickier” communities that all can embrace and work toward together,” said Fenton.

Fenton will also lead an afternoon workshop, Implementing Healthy Designs – from Pilots to Policy, to address the two primary concerns of residents and policy makers - understanding the technical details and paying for healthier designs.  He will discuss tools ranging from pilot installations and demonstration projects, to policy change and institutional embrace.

Sullivan Renaissance is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County to bring Mark Fenton to the area.  He will arrive prior to the conference to visit Sullivan County communities.  His observations of local examples will be incorporated into his presentations.    Mark’s visit will also provide information and recommendations for healthy school and community initiatives.

The Conference will bloom with spring flowers and offer tools and resources to help attendees Build Beautiful, Healthy and Active Communities.  Registration for this free event begins at 9:00 a.m. with light breakfast and an expo.  The keynote address begins at 10:00 a.m. 

The program also includes Municipal Grant Announcements, presentation of eight Renaissance Awards, and featured speakers who will discuss creative ways of Dealing with Distressed Properties, Transforming Gateways and Curb Appeal for Homes and Businesses.

An expo will feature garden displays and vendors including Delaware Valley Farm and Garden, Liberty Agway Home and Garden and Monticello Farm Home and Garden offering products and services of interest to attendees.  Guests will have an opportunity to purchase local, natural and organic goods from Thanksgiving Farm, Northern Farmhouse Pasta, Java Love Coffee Roasting Company and Heirloom Botanicals. 

In an effort to promote healthier living, free health screenings and a smoothie station will be offered by Catskill Regional Medical Center. Complimentary pedometers and information will be offered to participants who avail themselves of the free health screenings. The event closes with an optional interpretive walk of the Bethel Woods grounds with Jeff Allison, Bethel Woods Docent Program Chairman.

For more information or to register, call Sullivan Renaissance at 845-295-2445.  To register on line, go to  To download a conference brochure, go to  

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