• Accokeek Foundation

Visitors From Abroad Explore Tourism in Piscataway Park

Delegates from the former Soviet Union walk the Pumpkin Ash Trail.

Earlier this month, close to 20 tourism experts from the former Soviet Union visited the Accokeek Foundation as part of a month-long exploration of tourism in the United States.

Their stateside travels, arranged through the International Trade Administration’s Special American Business Internship Training Program, will include visits to tourist sites in Utah, Massachusetts, and Maine, as the delegates learn how to expand the tourism industries of their home states. Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and more: each of the eight states represented by the delegates contains unique resources around which tourism can be developed—similar to our own stewardship of the natural and historical resources located here in Piscataway Park.

Indeed, several delegates expressed an interest in eco-, agri-, and historical tourism, and a desire to learn how to establish an outdoor educational site akin to the Ecosystem or National Colonial Farms. Server Beytulayev, for instance, is the director of a tourism company in the Ukraine, and dreams of offering more cultural, historical, and green tourism packages to his clients. Having joined forces with artists, architects, and tour operators, Beytulayev also hopes to soon establish a living history museum that would depict how Crimean Tatars once lived.

“[This operation] would recreate Crimean Tatar villages the way [these villages] used to be 200 years ago,” Beytulayev said through a translator. “We will hope to do exactly the way it looks here [at the National Colonial Farm]: how the [Tatars] grew back then vegetables, fruits, cattle operations.”