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Outdoor Towns


  • Selected by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to launch a pilot program for Outdoor Towns, a nature-based revitalization program

  • Collaborated with local governments, chambers of commerce, residents, non-profits, and business owners to create buy-in

  • Created and facilitated robust community engagement

  • Developed individual action plans for each town

  • Provided technical assistance for future funding opportunities


The Pennsylvania Environmental Council developed  The Outdoor Town Toolkit, a robust, online collection of resources and templates that lead communities through a 7-step process to leverage their nature-based assets to improve local economies. The Toolkit was developed but never put into practice.

DCNR asked Eastwick Solutions to launch a pilot program to determine the viability of the Outdoor Towns Toolkit, through its Peer Grant Program, in two communities in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Eastwick worked in two towns, Carbondale (population 8,812) and Forest City (population 1,741), Pennsylvania to execute, manage and facilitate the process.

The results exceeded expectations in both towns! Over a 12-month period, each town created a local working committee and developed a vision statement, goals and objectives, and an action plan! Supporting these efforts was a vigorous community engagement campaign of surveys, public meetings, and walking assessments to fully integrate the community into the process and use the results of that engagement in developing the action plans. Both towns’ elected bodies passed resolutions of support for their respective plans.


Using the DCNR Peer Grant program was especially attractive and manageable to each town because of the low match requirements. This funding strategy enabled each town to develop a plan with specific, measurable actions toward building their own meaningful Outdoor Economy.

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