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National Park Service OKs New Hampshire’s Five-Year Outdoor Recreation Plan

The National Park Service recently approved New Hampshire’s 2024-2028 outdoor recreation plan, marking a pivotal step for the state’s robust $2.7 billion outdoor recreation industry. 

According to a New Hampshire Bulletin report, the strategic plan, a collaborative effort by New Hampshire State Parks and the University of New Hampshire’s Recreation Management and Policy program, is set to shape the future of outdoor activities and economic growth in the state.

New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation sector, employing 28,000 people, stands as a vital part of the state’s economy. The newly endorsed five-year plan is crafted to bolster the industry by focusing on enhancing the recreational experience, addressing the effects of climate on recreation, ensuring inclusivity, promoting health and wellness, and strengthening economic vitality.

The development of the plan involved comprehensive research, including the analysis of participation trends and attitudes toward outdoor recreation among New Hampshire residents. The study utilized various methodologies like focus groups, web surveys, and other data collection strategies to gather insights from a wide array of stakeholders, including land management organizations, minority communities, outdoor recreation providers, and local residents.

According to Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah Stewart, outdoor recreation extends beyond physical benefits, contributing significantly to mental well-being. Survey results within the plan reveal that a vast majority of participants perceive outdoor activities as crucial for stress reduction and enhancing life appreciation.

In light of the growing popularity of outdoor recreation, the plan underscores the necessity of visitor education programs. These initiatives aim to facilitate sustainable engagement with nature, accommodating the increasing influx of outdoor enthusiasts across all seasons throughout the state.

The plan documents a significant surge in outdoor recreational activities, with a 38 percent increase in state visitors in 2021 compared to 2019, resulting in a 65 percent rise in spending to $2 billion. This boom highlights the escalating demand for outdoor experiences and the economic potential of the sector.

The requirement for a state to develop a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan stems from its participation in the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program. This program, established in 1965, supports recreational development through 50/50 matching grants to state and local governments.

New Hampshire has benefitted nearly $50 million in grants from the program, underlining the federal government’s role in enhancing the state’s recreational infrastructure and services. The strategic plan aligns with these efforts, ensuring continued investment and growth in the outdoor recreation domain.

The 2024-2028 plan serves as a roadmap for New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation future, detailing priorities and strategies to maximize the benefits of natural resources for both residents and visitors. It reflects a comprehensive approach to nurturing the outdoor recreation industry, supporting economic growth, and promoting public health and wellness.

To view the plan, click here.

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March 12, 2024 10:33 am

Have you heard the buzz about New Hampshire’s exciting new outdoor plan? It’s all about paving the way for a brighter future for outdoor enthusiasts like us! By focusing on inclusivity, education, and boosting our economy while enhancing our recreational experiences, we’re all set for some amazing adventures ahead!

Olive Grove
Olive Grove
March 12, 2024 3:28 pm

Have you heard about New Hampshire’s new five-year plan? It’s all about making outdoor fun more diverse, accessible, and eco-friendly. I reckon it’s a great move that benefits everyone.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: National Park Service OKs New Hampshire's Five-Year Outdoor Recreation Plan! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/new-hampshire/national-park-service-oks-new-hampshires-five-year-outdoor-recreation-plan/