Outdoor Recreation Workshop Planned | Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC)

Kristina RamseyNews

Do you want to help Buena Vista thrive through an outdoor recreation economy? Join us April 4-5!

Buena Vista, VA (March 2023) – Buena Vista is one of twenty-five communities in the nation selected as part of the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities planning assistance program. The program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA Forest Service, and the Appalachian Regional Commission, will help Buena Vista develop an action plan to revitalize its community through outdoor recreation.

A planning assistance team will join local residents and stakeholders for a community workshop April 4-5, 2023 focused on growing the outdoor recreation economy, revitalizing our downtowns, creating opportunities for physical activity and health, and stewarding the region’s natural resources.The public is invited to attend to share their knowledge of the local area and ideas for the future.

Among other topics, the workshop will focus on four goals developed by the local steering committee:

  • Enlivening Downtown: Engage business and property owners downtown to rally around outdoor recreation as an economic driver and draw new businesses to support community needs for the outdoor recreation economy, and make Buena Vista a desirable place to visit and live.
  • Improving Infrastructure: Make improvements to outdoor recreation, critical tourism, and connectivity infrastructure in Buena Vista to better serve residents and visitors. Create a comprehensive master plan for Glen Maury Park and/or overall parks and recreation in the city to make improvements and connections to other outdoor assets in the region.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotion: Consider how you want to position and promote Buena Vista’s best assets (natural, cultural, recreation) and promote this identity as a destination and gateway community to both locals and visitors.
  • Expand Outdoor Recreation Activities and Education Offerings: Envision and plan for what would be needed to expand both local and visitor experiences around outdoor recreation, allowing people of all ages, races, and abilities enjoy the outdoors and support the economy.

The workshop will include a community meeting the evening of Tuesday, April 4th and action planning work sessions all day Wednesday, April 5th. The community meeting will include brief presentations and will provide community residents an opportunity to share their visions and values related to creating a vibrant, walkable, and healthy Buena Vista; enhancing the connection to Glen Maury Park, Maury River, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and other recreational amenities; and strengthening economic opportunities for local residents and businesses. The action planning work sessions will engage stakeholders and residents to identify strategies for achieving local goals and will form the foundation for a Community Action Plan that charts next steps local stakeholders can take.

Workshop details are provided below:

  • Community Meeting: Tuesday, April 4th, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm; Buena Vista Fire Department, 2010 Sycamore Avenue. Light refreshments will be provided. There will also be a coloring table for children during the event to allow parents to participate.
  • Action Planning Work Session: Wednesday, April 5th, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Buena Vista Fire Department, 2010 Sycamore Avenue. We will be taking lunch orders from a local restaurant, please bring cash or a lunch.

The event is free open to all, but registration is requested at https://bit.ly/3Ai3c1U.

Download the flyer invitation HERE.