Rural Transportation Logo

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) Releases Updated Rural Economic Development Toolkit

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) Releases Updated Rural Economic Development Toolkit

In This Article:
Outdoor recreation roundtable rural economic development toolkit

ORR released the new edition of its rural economic development toolkit in early 2024. ORR helps rural communities build sustainable and thriving recreation economies through its Rural Economic Development Toolkit, Implementation Grants, and other partnerships with rural practitioners around the country.

This toolkit is designed to help advocates within communities across the United States build better outdoor recreation economies. The toolkit seeks to provide strategies for success sourced from communities around the country to achieve intersecting goals: healthy communities, high quality of life, robust businesses, resilient economies, and vibrant outdoor places.

The process of building outdoor recreation economies in rural communities is neither turnkey nor predictable. But interviews with practitioners revealed best practices that enable community-centric, place-based, and sustainable economic development around outdoor recreation assets. 

The toolkit is focused on these 12 principles

  1. Identify and Empower Local Champions
  2. Make Outdoor Recreation a “Must-Have”
  3. Build Collaboratives
  4. Guarantee Buy-In and Dependability
  5. Generate Public Support
  6. Provide Professional Development
  7. Create a Brand
  8. Identify Funding Partners
  9. Achieve Buy-In From the State
  10. Plan for Destination Management and Value Capture
  11. Take on Infrastructure Needs
  12. Attract and Support Outdoor Businesses

Other resources include:

Federal grants or other technical assistance

Stories of outdoor recreation economy development from every state across the country

recent reports from BEA (opens in a new tab)on each state’s outdoor recreation economy 

ORR’s recent ranking of each state’s outdoor recreation economy(opens in a new tab)in 2022

check out ORR’s Outdoor Workforce Hub(opens in a new tab), published in 2023

draw visitors who spend money at local businesses

Together Outdoors Resource Hub to learn more on how to generate Public Support

Additional Resources


Click the button below to receive NADO and Rural Transportation news and information directly to your inbox.