Feds Try To Nudge 100 "Great Outdoors" Projects Toward Completion

November 9, 2011

As part of the ongoing America's Great Outdoors Initiative, the Dept. of Interior has selected two conservation projects in each state and Washington, D.C., to boost — not necessarily with new federal funding but with technical support and focused effort.

Interior chose the projects it judged offer the best future bang for the buck, based on substantial local support, the opportunities for local and regional residents to have worthwhile outdoor experiences, and anticipated benefit to local economies. 

The agency chose these projects after meeting with a number of selected people in each state. The projects are in a mix of urban, rural, and remote settings, and in some cases have been under development for some time. Similar designations of worthiness for additional projects, drawn from the many that were considered in each state, may occur in coming years.

The chosen include 24 improving recreational access to rivers and waterways; 23 to construct new trails or improve recreation sites; 20 to create and enhance urban parks; 13 to conserve significant landscapes; and 11 to establish new national wildlife refuges; national park units, etc.

DoI has committed to assigning a point person to each project, and providing technical and administrative resources that can help local officials move forward. There is no assurance of additional funding.

In the report, there is a brief description of each project, along with a list of agencies and organizations that will be working on it, providing you with starting points for digging into the scope, cost, track record, level of local support or opposition, employment opportunities, and projected impact on fitness, outdoor appreciation, education, conservation, and other goals the Initiative is trying to address.

As you investigate each project, you will likely learn about other projects in the state that didn't make this final cut; covering them in a similar way can provide additional context and information for your audience.