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Allegany and Garrett Counties Receive $75K Federal Grant to Boost Outdoor Recreation Economy

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The federal government has granted Allegany and Garrett counties (Maryland) $75,000 to boost the outdoor recreation economy.

As per a report, the Federal Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded the grant to the Department of Commerce for Maryland’s westernmost counties.

According to a release, the grant’s goal is to develop a recruitment and strategic plan to attract outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufacturing to locate, expand, and grow in Western Maryland.

Alongside the $75,000 from ARC, Allegany, and Garrett counties and the Maryland Department of Commerce will also contribute $25,000.

“It’s a $150,000 project,” said Ashli Workman, Allegany County director of tourism. “Maryland was looking for a location that fostered outdoor manufacturing–a place where there is access to natural resources and outdoor recreation.”

Workman stated that Allegany County is taking the initiative as the grantee. However, the grant will be a collaborative effort to attract the manufacturers.

The plan comes as a follow-up of Maryland’s Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission report, released in December 2019.

Governor Larry Hogan tasked the commission to develop innovative strategies for marketing Maryland’s unique heritage and outdoor recreation brand and suggest initiatives to expand and attract new businesses.

The recommendations included the creation of the state’s newly-appointed Office of Outdoor Recreation in addition to considering the necessity of an effective recruitment strategy to draw manufacturers such as kayak boats, bicycles, or companies that manufacture all-terrain vehicles.

The $150,000 will be used to recruit a consulting team to develop an effective business attraction strategy, compatibility matrix, and pitch packets designed to draw businesses.

Jeff Barclay, director of economic development for Allegany County, said he hopes to have the project finished and reports filed by the end of the fall.

“We are looking forward to the results and going after some companies that fit the criteria,” said Barclay. “If we can get the (Potomac River park) project off the ground, the trail projects and rock climbing activity started … it bodes well for manufacturers of that type of equipment to locate nearby.”

Allegany and Garrett counties have been deemed gateway communities, which are home to more than 148,000 acres of public land and 31% of Maryland’s owned acres.

With more than 500 miles of trail networks and one national park, three state forests, and 11 state parks, Western Maryland can boost economic and community development under the growing outdoor recreation economy and access to natural resources.

“Maryland’s outdoor recreation sector generates $14 billion in spending each year, supporting 109,000 jobs throughout the state,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Receiving this ARC grant will enhance our efforts to grow this industry and attract additional recreation and lifestyle businesses, as well as visitors, to Western Maryland. We believe this project has great potential to create new jobs for residents throughout the region.”

This story originally appeared on Cumberland Times-News.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Allegany and Garrett Counties Receive K Federal Grant to Boost Outdoor Recreation Economy! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/maryland/allegany-and-garrett-counties-receive-75k-federal-grant-to-boost-outdoor-recreation-economy/