All posts by harbinger

Everyday Democracy is rewriting its dialogue guide on police-community relations, with Harbinger’s help. Harbinger wrote the original Protecting Communities and Serving the Public guide in 2000. Since that time, the public focus on racial disparities in law enforcement and criminal justice has grown stronger, especially in the wake of highly publicized police killings of unarmed black men. The new version of the guide will focus on bringing communities together to address issues of race in policing.

The Montana Wilderness Association released its new geotourism mapguide—Buttes, Breaks, and Badlands: Off the Beaten Path in Southeast Montana. This map is the product of the Southeast Montana Geotourism Project, a locally organized effort to highlight the unique natural, historical, and cultural sites in this relatively undiscovered corner of Montana.

Harbinger applied its experience working with National Geographic geotourism initiatives to shape this project from its inception, helping define the project, raise funds, and organize and collaborate with a broad-based advisory council. Harbinger also led the project editorial team.

Learn more, download the mapguide, use the online map, or buy a printed copy here.

President Obama made the Waco Mammoth Site the 408th unit of the National Park System today. Visitors to the Waco Mammoth National Monument can see in situ fossils of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths that lived about 67,000 years ago. A coalition of local organizations sought the designation as a way to raise the profile of a unique community resource that already attracts 18,000 visitors per year, including 3,300 Central Texas students with school groups.

The new national monument is operated collaboratively with the City of Waco, which developed the site in accordance with National Park Service standards, setting up a seamless transition to the new designation. Waco Mammoth will continue to be supported by its nonprofit partner, the Waco Mammoth Foundation, and by collaborative relationships with Baylor University and local and regional museums.

A 2015 Harbinger assessment found that visitation to the Waco Mammoth National Monument is likely to grow three times faster over the next ten years than it would have without the National Park Service designation. Affiliation with the park service is also expected to accelerate fundraising and development of new visitor facilities and programming, and provide paleontology expertise leading to renewed research and fossil preparation onsite.

Download the fact sheet at harbingerconsult.com/WacoMammoth.

Today, the Missions of San Antonio were inscribed onto the list of World Heritage Sites, placing them in the company of fewer than 1,000 places around the world recognized for outstanding historical, artistic, scientific, or natural value. The designation comprises five historical Spanish missions, including the Alamo and four missions under the care of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Harbinger’s 2013 evaluation of potential economic impacts of World Heritage status projected that this designation could boost economic benefits from visitation to the missions by up to 26 percent by 2025. If local organizations collaborate on promotion and expanding cultural tourism offerings, the prestigious international designation could yield up to $105 million in additional local sales, more than 1,000 new jobs, and $2.2 million in additional hotel tax revenue.

To maximize the potential of World Heritage status, the study recommended a slate of collaborative actions involving promotion, developing new cultural tourism opportunities and businesses, enabling visitors to navigate the WHS easily, and building community awareness and involvement.

Download the study at bexar.org/whs.

Harbinger study of potential economic benefits of a new National Park Service unit in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta released.

From 2013-2014, under contract with New Venture Fund, Harbinger consulted with an informal coalition of organizations on potential economic impacts of conservation designations in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and bluffs region, and on compatible tourism development.

Harbinger’s preliminary evaluation examined how a National Park Service unit, such as a National Park and Preserve, might help develop the economic potential of the patchwork of natural, cultural, and historical sites in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and surrounding region. It found that economic impacts could vary widely depending upon many factors, such as how the park and preserve is configured; the types of visitor facilities and services developed; the extent to which surrounding communities support, promote, and enhance visitors’ park experience; and how well discreet sites and events are coordinated and promoted to create more cohesive offerings for visitors.

The study found that, by its tenth year, a National Park and Preserve that is complemented by additional natural and cultural tourism development in the Delta region could support up to 1,074 new jobs in the seven-county region, primarily in areas away from the beaches, where most tourism activity is currently focused.

Download the technical and public reports here.

The National Parks Conservation Association released a new Harbinger report assessing the economic significance of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to a five-county area—Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, and Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties in Pennsylvania. 

Each year:

• Park visitor spending supports 1,750 local jobs and puts $2.5 million into local and state government coffers.

• National Park Service employment supports $1.9 million in local wages.

• Every $1 of federal government investment in the park yields $24 in sales at local businesses.

• Because the park remains largely forested and undeveloped, it provides ecosystem goods and services such as clean water, reduced floods, fish and wildlife habitat, and carbon storage. Even the best technology and human ingenuity could not fully replace these natural benefits—and it would cost more than $159 million to come close.

Just as important to the region’s economy are the park’s values as a community partner and as an anchor in a larger landscape of conserved and natural areas.

Making Connections: Investing in a Vibrant Economy in the Region at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area reviews the national park’s economic benefits and its value to the broader region. It also identifies challenges and opportunities to sustain and enhance its significance.

Download the report, technical report, and infographic here.

Research underway for the Civil War Trust suggests that battlefield tourism is alive and well in the U.S., and not just at Civil War sites. In 2012, just ten battlefield sites hosted 10.2 million visitors, and preliminary analysis suggests that these visitors generated a significant uptick in sales at local businesses, supported thousands of local jobs, and added millions to state and local coffers.

The study is examining battlefield sites representing the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican-American War, Civil War, and World War II.

A Harbinger assessment found that Civil War battlefields provide a range of economic benefits to neighboring communities—from tax revenues and jobs supported by visitor spending to open space, recreation, and education.

The report, Blue, Gray & Green: Economic and Tourism Benefits of Battlefield Preservation, found that battlefields are a significant draw for visitors. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is likely to boost already substantial contributions from battlefield tourism. Battlefields visitors tend to be better-educated and more affluent than other travelers, stay longer, and spend more money.

Client: Civil War Trust. Download the technical report and summary brochure here.

In a project funded by U.S. AID and the Project WET International Foundation, Harbinger contributed to the development of hands-on, interactive educational materials that have reached over 10 million children in Africa, mostly in the Nile River basin. Through a partnership with UN HABITAT, these books were translated into Spanish for use in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru.

Download the materials here.

In a project funded by U.S. AID and the Project WET International Foundation, Harbinger contributed to the development of hands-on, interactive educational materials that have reached over 10 million children in Africa, mostly in the Nile River basin. In the first three years, more than 830,000 copies of this interactive educational activity guides on water, hygiene, and sanitation had been put into service at 1,000 schools in central and southern Africa.

The educator guides and children’s activity booklets are available in English, French, and Kiswahili, and are being translated into Spanish for use in Latin America.