Vision Begins Here
What You Can Do
Invitation: Join 20 Charter Members to establish a visionary recreation, culture and education organization.
Would you have had the vision to start the American Canoe Association in 1880, the National Geographic Society in 1888, the Camping and Caravanning Club in 1901, the National Park-to-Park Highway Association in 1916, or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 1925?
Many innovative and influential organizations were founded more than a century ago. Inspired by equally visionary institutions, like the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian, the new adventure, conservation and education organizations debuted at the dawn of the century of car culture. They worked to inspire ordinary people to discover the natural and cultural world, and to access awe-inspiring places like the national parks and wilderness areas by many different modes of transportation - on foot, horses, bikes, watercraft, motor vehicles, and more - usually with a mission focused on preservation of the rare and beautiful, and survival of the endangered.
A new century of unlimited technological possibilities, combined with changing human health and social needs, will greatly alter the way modern people understand commuting and sedentary work, as well as the human role in the increasingly mechanized and automated workplace. Travel will be vastly different than it was decades ago. Rather than "getting away from it all" - the buzz of media, the gloom of incessant routines, and the stress of work or school) - for many, its primary purpose may be to escape stagnant workplaces and unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles. Or to focus on an important goal and think more clearly. In addition to physical and mental health, travel and opportunities to explore interesting environments will be imperative for inspiration, education, and competency in natural and social sciences.
Electric and autonomous vehicles may share roads and highways, or possibly dominate segregated travelways. More people will likely work remotely, while many may also work fewer hours or shorter seasons. Some may have longer vacations or transient down time. Larger numbers of people may seek to utilize their human power - trekking, running, cycling, climbing - for their own enjoyment and benefit. For many groups, great emphasis will be placed on conserving aspects of past ways of life and cultural identities. Preservation of traditional arts and creativity, and even presentation of new and innovative concepts, will also be a challenge for many people. Small and independent businesses will struggle to find avenues of promotion and support in a competitive mass marketplace.
Organizations will have an increasingly important role in steering through numerous inevitable social and lifestyle changes brought on by changing industries and technologies in the future.
Just as pioneering organizations were critical at the dawn of the century of car culture, they are equally as exciting at the turning point of many new communication and computing technologies (GPS, AI, DNA, and others), and possibly more needed than before on the cusp of an uncertain future. Without utilizing new potential for the positive benefit of humans and humanity, the capacity will default to lost potential to the detriment of the general population.
As we develop a recreation trail (along with other projects) with modern/coming realities of technology and occupations in mind, and simultaneously build an organization (made of many local, connected chapters) with an astute understanding of culture and education in quality of life, Mile Zero Trail Association (MZTA) is preparing to serve many productive public interests and social needs in the future.
The unique mission to establish trails, explore cultural interests and promote education to connect prominent trails (the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide and numerous historic trails) and link communities (physically and contextually) calls for an organization that is not focused on a single place or set inside a local boundary, but rather one that will reach across natural and artificial borders, and be a tremendous asset to many communities and travelers.
The model for the new organization could viewed as a composite of the programs, services and missions of several excellent and effective organizations (modern and historic), including groups as diverse as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Arbor Day Foundation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Levitt Foundation, Oklahoma Historical Society, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian. MZTA organizers plan to draw from interaction with some of these prominent organizations, as well as experience with historic Texas-based centers and programs, including Camp Dos Cabezas, Houston Cool, Youth Voices, Carnival Connection, Houston International Festival, The Artery, college and community radio, and many more.
Above photo: A spectacular sunset over the surrounding plains and mountain ranges was captured by a student during Camp Dos Cabezas.