In 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) program will send grants to 25 new rural communities, following the 10 rural communities supported in 2019.

The program helps communities identify strategies to grow their outdoor recreation economy and revitalize their Main Streets and thereby conserve forests and other natural lands, drive, community revitalization, protect air and water quality, create jobs, support economic growth and diversification, and offer new opportunities for people to connect with the natural world.

Activities include:

  • Helping youth connect to nearby outdoor opportunities
  • Expanding trail networks
  • Developing in-town amenities in small towns, such as broadband, electric vehicle charging stations, housing, and business development
  • Marketing communities as “gateways” to nearby natural lands
  • Helping support community consensus on outdoor asset management
  • Supporting equitable access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

You can see the 2019 communities and their projects here, and the 2022 communities and their investments here.

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