As reported in the AARP Livable Communities newsletter, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities assistance program. Despite the name, the EPA states that the opportunity is available to small towns and economically disadvantaged communities.
Eligible communities can apply to receive technical assistance from a planning team that will help those communities bring together local residents and other stakeholders to decide on strategies and an action plan to grow the local outdoor recreation economy. The planning assistance process will take place over a period of four to six months, with a focal point being a two-day, facilitated community workshop. Participants will work together to identify a vision, goals, and specific actions to realize the locally set goals.
For more information on the outdoor economy, read the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2016 report Federal Outdoor Recreation Trends: Effects on Economic Opportunities.
Eligible applicants include local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit institutions and organizations representing any community in the United States.
- Small towns,
- Economically disadvantaged, such as those in Opportunity Zones, and/or
- In the Northern Border region of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York (see the Northern Border Regional Commission’s website for a list of counties in this region).
For more information on this opportunity, please see the EPA webpage on the Recreation Economy program here.