08-22-22 | News

EPA and Forest Service Partner to Improve Outdoor Recreation Economies

Partnership Focuses on the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Program
by Staff

Through the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Program, the EPA, US Forest Service, and two other organization will create strategies to improve the outdoor recre-ation economies of 25 communities.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Northern Border Regional Commission in assisting 25 small and rural communities throughout the country. These organization are joining to creating strategies to grow the communities' outdoor recreation economies and revitalize their Main Streets through the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) Program.

Commenting on their actions, Vicki Arroyo, EPA associate administrator for policy, highlighting that outdoor recreation activities can create new investments for local economies and can lead to improved quality of life for residents.

Forest Service chief Randy Moore gave his thoughts in explaining, "The economic impact of outdoor recreation near our national forests and grasslands is vital to support health and prosperity in rural America. Efforts to reinvigorate main streets through the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program is an important step to help communities realize all the benefits that adjacent national forests and grasslands make possible."

The communities will be undertaking revitalization projects that includes:
- building new trail systems
- improving access and walkability along Main Streets
- increasing access to outdoor activities for all residents and visitors
- strengthening outdoor recreation businesses
- adapting to the climate impacts that affect coastal resources, wildfires, and winter recreation opportunities
- cleaning up and repurposing vacant building
- creating new parks and recreation amenities


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