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Susquehanna Life

Asset-Based Initiatives Grow Communities

Jun 07, 2016 02:13AM ● By Melanie Heisinger

In communities around the country, utilizing existing natural resources—including trails—has boosted economic development without the need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. 

Vermont’s Kingdom Trails, a system linked across 60 contiguous landowner properties, which contributed close to $5 million to the local economy in 2012 in a corner of the state that is devoid of other economic drivers, and the average wage is just over $30,000. “By 2014, the number of mountain biking visitors had climbed to 69,000, which contributed close to $7 million in economic impact, and the numbers are climbing,” said Kuhns. 

Success stories can also be found closer to home. 

The Allegrippis Trails at Lake Raystown are credited with driving at least $750,000 per year into the Huntingdon area, and extending tourism at Raystown Lake by two months. “Those trails cost about $1 million to develop, but have repaid that investment many times over,” added Kuhns.

Read more in our article Economic Development: The Logic of Funding Asset-Based Initiatives.

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