The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has launched a new toolkit for rural communities, aimed at helping them build their outdoor recreation economies. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) is excited to have helped build the toolkit as one of the first State-level members of the ORR.
ORR, working with Oregon State University’s Outdoor Recreation Economy Initiative and the National Governors Association Outdoor Recreation Learning Network (NGA ORLN), is helping rural communities build their outdoor recreation economies through this resource. The toolkit provides state and local officials, as well as rural community members, information on best practices for developing an outdoor recreation economy.
Nathan Fey, Director of OREC, stated, “This toolkit serves as a revolutionary aide for diversifying local and regional economies through outdoor recreation. The lessons and perspectives collected here will help communities across the U.S. -- from those just beginning to embrace outdoor recreation and its very real economic, social, and environmental benefits, to communities already implementing thoughtful strategies to expand their outdoor economy. A resource this expansive, and scalable to reflect the unique values and specific challenges of our communities, is critical to building a more resilient rural Colorado.”
While the Rural Economic Development Toolkit provides a resource for communities building up their outdoor recreation economies, many communities will need additional resources to implement their plans. To overcome this hurdle, ORR has compiled a list of federal grants and technical assistance to accompany the toolkit, which will support these communities in securing the funding and assistance they need to accomplish their economic goals.
In addition to these federal resources, Colorado’s Rural Opportunity Office within the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) supports rural communities across Colorado through programs such as the Rural Technical Assistance Program, Rural Jump-Start Program and Enterprise Zone Program. To learn more about all the programs and support available from OEDIT, visit the Programs and Funding page.
As a member of the ORR and NGA ORLN, the Colorado OREC Office will work with Colorado's rural communities to utilize the toolkit and our rural programs to support their efforts to diversify their economies.