Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has released the second edition of its Rural Economic Development Toolkit to build upon its efforts to foster growth and development of outdoor recreation opportunities across the country.
This essential resource, built upon three years of extensive research across the United States, is a comprehensive guide for communities to strengthen their economies through outdoor recreation.
At a time when the outdoor recreation economy at large surpassed $1 trillion in economic impact, and communities around the country are utilizing outdoor recreation infrastructure and access for economic diversification, this resource is well-suited to meet the unprecedented demand for support.
ORR’s Vice President of Programs Chris Perkins stated, “This toolkit is more than just a resource; it’s also a roadmap for communities to enhance and build robust outdoor recreation economies, sourced from community leaders around the United States. Over 1,000 people from communities and organizations nationwide signed up to learn from this tool, a testament to the growing interest and dedication towards sustainable economic development through outdoor recreation in rural America.”
Key Features of the New Toolkit:
- In-depth modules covering topics such as Economic Development, Funding, Housing, Climate Resiliency, Accessibility in Recreation Infrastructure, Tribal Leadership, Data Utilization and more.
- A comprehensive library of economic development examples in outdoor recreation, spanning every state in the country.
- An updated list of federal grants and technical assistance programs specifically for outdoor recreation economy development.
- A Community Self-Assessment Tool to assist communities in evaluating their outdoor recreation potential.
- A collection of Recreation Infrastructure Toolkits from ORR members, providing detailed insights into funding and development in rural areas.
“So many rural communities are making a run at growing this sector, and there is tremendous room for growth, but there are unique challenges we face in rural development.” said Ta Enos, founder and CEO of the PA Wilds Center.
“It is also one of those types of development — especially on the tourism side of outdoor rec — where you want to be intentional to drive positive outcomes like supporting local entrepreneurs, increasing stewardship and pride of place, and helping to attract new investment. That’s why the Toolkit is so valuable —it distills best practices and real-life approaches that are helping rural communities across the country get traction, so we can all learn from each other. Whether you are new to this type of development, or have been working on it for twenty years, it’s a great resource.”
In addition to the Rural Economic Development Toolkit, ORR also announced its Rural Toolkit Mapping Project, designed to showcase the level of need for outdoor recreation economic development support around the United States.
For more information, visit ORR’s website.
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