In 2021, the City of Buena Vista applied for a Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) planning assistance program grant to help grow its outdoor recreation economy and revitalize its Main Street. The city was one of 25 communities across the nation to receive this technical assistance award sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA Forest Service, the Northern Border Regional Commission, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
On April 4-5, 2023, the City of Buena Vista hosted a workshop, where local stakeholders came together with city officials, regional, state, and federal partners, and the RERC planning assistance team to develop action plans to strengthen their downtown and their outdoor recreation sectors. During the first session on Tuesday, April 4, roughly 70 participants attended the nighttime workshop to learn about the project and participate in community visioning exercises. During the second and third sessions, on Wednesday, April 5, roughly 45 participants attended the daytime workshop to develop strategies to boost the recreation economy and downtown revitalization, identify actions to implement those strategies, prioritize actions, and develop an action plan to implement high-priority actions.
The RERC workshop was an incredible community-driven process that will result in a concrete, implementable action plan that the City of Buena Vista will be able to use to make visible progress over the next 2-3 years.