Outdoor Recreation as an Economic and Community Engagement Catalyst in Western North Carolina
|Award Category:||Innovation + Talent|
|Project Site:||Outdoor Recreation as an Economic and Community Engagement Catalyst in Western North Carolina|
|Submitted By:||Western Carolina University|
|Contact:||Arthur Salido, Executive Director of Community and Economic Engagement and Innovation, 828.227.2587|
Western Carolina University and regional stakeholders are targeting outdoor recreation to catalyze economic development. The Growing Outdoors project, which represents a collaborative regional approach to expanding Western North Carolina’s (WNC) outdoor industry, was awarded $940,000 over three years by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in Fall, 2018. The project leverages assets within the region’s communities including a skilled workforce, manufacturing heritage, natural/cultural resources, and broadband to advance the outdoor economy and catalyze measurable job creation, investment, and entrepreneurship. Importantly, the project also supports timely economic diversification in WNC’s communities that are struggling economically.