Outdoor-Driven Economic Development

Building Outdoor Communities

View the Launch Announcement

The “Building Outdoor Communities” program is designed to help Western North Carolina’s community leaders better understand and leverage their unique assets and collaborate to drive outdoor economic and community development centered around healthy people and places. This innovative program focuses on capacity building, technical assistance, training, connectivity, and education in 25 WNC counties and the Qualla Boundary.

The Building Outdoor Communities program aims to support communities in developing, prioritizing, and implementing their outdoor infrastructure and economy goals to capitalize on their extraordinary outdoors and:

  • Connect communities to cultural heritage and the natural landscape through high quality outdoor recreation access
  • Enhance the region’s quality of life, public health, and sense of place
  • Care for the towns and public lands that make this region so special
  • Grow community capacity and provide resources to support equitable advancement of the outdoor economy across the region
  • Catalyze entrepreneurship, business expansion, and recruitment of new businesses and talent

Program Application

Application period is open July 12th to August 26th.
Before completing the application, please read the Building Outdoor Communities Program Details & FAQ!

Building Outdoor Communities Program Details & FAQ

After reading the Building Outdoor Communities Program Details & FAQ, please complete your Building Outdoor Communities Application.

Building Outdoor Communities Application

WNC Open House Series:
Coming in August

The WNC: MADE X MTNS team is traveling to 10 locations across WNC in mid-August to discuss the program and answer questions.
Be one of the first to learn about this program and network with your peers seeking to advance the outdoor economy in your community.
Attendees of each in-person event will be entered to win a WNC:MADE X MTNS Swag Pack.

A virtual briefing will be made available during this time.

Please RSVP below.

Register for WNC Open House Events

View Open House Presentation

Watch Virtual Open House Presentation Video

Launch Event & Workshop in Boone, NC: September 19-20

The Building Outdoor Communities program will kick off in person at Appalachian State University.
This launch event is designed for Community Working Groups participating in the Building Outdoor Communities program.
Counties who do not have an existing working group who are interested in starting one are welcome to attend this event.
We encourage 3-5 people per county who are committed to the program to each register for the event, and we will help guide your team on the formation and priorities of a group.
Program Participants are required to attend this event.

Please RSVP below.

Register for Launch Event & Workshop

Stay in the Know

Stay in-the-know about program updates, key events, and major milestones.

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