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Cities are eligible for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recreation Economy for Rural Communities funding, a new planning assistance program to help communities develop strategies and an action plan to revitalize their Main Streets through outdoor recreation. Outdoor activities are increasingly popular across the United States. Communities can take advantage of this trend to revitalize Main Streets. By conserving forests and other natural lands and making them available for outdoor recreation, small towns can boost air quality and water quality and focus development downtown. Promoting outdoor recreation can also create jobs and offer new opportunities for people to connect with the natural world.
With Recreation Economy for Rural Communities assistance, a planning team will help 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
Communities are encouraged to pursue activities that foster environmentally friendly community development and Main Street revitalization through the conservation and sustainable use of public or private forests or other natural resources. Examples could include: