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Cultural Systems


Develop a Regional Recreation Map

Contact the Flint Hills Regional Council to learn more about developing a regional recreation map.

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Tool Information


  1. Tourism
  2. Celebrate Culture
  3. Awareness


Mapping natural, cultural, and historical assets together on one map and on an interactive website will increase local awareness of these assets and help visitors passing through to discover reasons to stay in the area longer and come back often to explore.  A comprehensive map of the area attractions is easy to distribute wherever visitor information is already distributed.  It makes sense to centralize in the information on the Travel Kansas website.

Map of Wisconsin park, forest , recreaional area or trail
Map of Public Parks, Natural Areas and Access Sites near Elk Rapids, Michigan


 There are already many individual maps of natural treasures, museums and cultural destinations and recreation sites created and maintained by the organizations who offer these amenities.  However, these maps are not regional in scope and do not cross outside of the boundaries of the individual organizations who create them.  If neighboring organizations could share their maps in one central location that could consolidate and cross reference them, it would create a more appealing picture of the wide variety of recreational opportunities available in the area.  By cross promoting these amenities, it raises awareness of the many opportunities to participate in community life for visitors and residents.  A regional recreational map will remind people within the community that these amenities exist and encourage the community to participate and support the small businesses and non-profit organizations who provide and maintain them.  

Image 1 

Photo by unknown.  http://kanzatrails.org/flint-hills-nature-trail/

Flint Hills Nature Trail

Image 2

Map by Kansas Rail-Trail Conservancy  


Flint Hills Rail-Trail MapFlint Hills Rail-Trail Map

Implementation Strategy

Champions and Partners

  • Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife
  • US Fish and Wildlife - Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area
  • Flint Hills Discovery Center
  • Tallgrass  Prairie National Preserve
  • Osage Nation
  • Kaw Nation
  • USDA Forest Services
  • Flint Hills Tourism Coalition
  • Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge
  • Flint Hills Nature Trail
  • Kansa Rail-Trail Conservancy
  • Travel Kansas


Short (1-3 years)



Cost Details

  • A dedicated staff member within an convening organization to create the initial maps
  • Graphic design, printing, and website services in order to incorporate in each partner agency's website
  • After the initial map is completed, it will likely need to be updated biannually, if not quarterly

Funding Sources

Tourism marketing grants: Kansas Department of Commerce

  • This grant was developed to assist Destination Marketing Organizations, tourism communities, and travel industry businesses with first time marketing and promotion activities. Funding through this partnership is intended to increase travel to tourism destination sites while enhancing the state’s image.

Recreational Trail Program grants

  • The grant program provides eighty percent matching funds, on a reimbursement basis, for eligible recreational and trail-related projects.

Kansas Tourism Division Attraction Development Grants

  • This grant reimburses up to 40% (not to exceed the amount awarded) of actual expenditures for a single grant project. Eligible projects and activities include technology-interactive exhibits and website development or enhancement, and out-of-state marketing or comprehensive regional marketing for a new attraction, event or festival.


Implementation Details

A brief outline of the first few steps necessary for implementation are provided. The steps outlined here are provided only as a suggested starting point and other approaches are certainly valid.

  • Identify the Convening Organization
  • Seek funding Hire a project manager
  • Conduct outreach to potential partners
  • Create the map and website presence
  • Create an ongoing maintenance budget
  • Update the maps several times throughout the year

Case Study

Arizona Recreation and Cultural Sites Map

The Arizona Experience Website hosts a Recreational and Cultural Sites Map that helps visitors to “design the perfect getaway” “ It’s an interactive map for exploring more than 425 rec recreational, historical and cultural sites in Arizona.  It includes federal parks and monuments, federal recreational areas, federal and state wildlife refuges, parks, tribal lands, American Indian cultural sites, museums, art galleries, and theaters.  One can find places to hike, camp, picnic, bicycle, boat, visit a museum or theater and shape your next Arizona adventure. “  The site is a joint product of the Arizona Experience, the Arizona Office of Tourism, and the Arizona Council for Enhancing Recreational Tourism (ACERT).  

Image 1  Map of the Recreational and Cultural Sites Map



This case study is very similar to what the Travel Kansas website is already doing and demonstrates how this kind of side could be enhanced with interactive mapping.