The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) announced that Monte Vista, Colorado, will receive a $10,000 award to grow its local economy and build increased community resilience through outdoor recreation.

Through the grant, ORR said it continues its charge to provide support, information and resources to rural communities seeking to create economic opportunities through outdoor recreation. The grant is made possible by The VF Foundation, who seized on the opportunity to support another community that applied for ORR’s 2023 rural economy grant program and is furthering their mission of “Outside Matters.”

Monte Vista will use its award to further access to the outdoors for all members of the community, including the building of a bilingual marketing toolkit, reviving its website and creating a social media timeline to share work and upcoming events, as well as developing an environmental education program for students to integrate into existing outdoor programs in Monte Vista.

“ORR is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with a community like Monte Vista to support their vision for a strong, local outdoor recreation economy,” said Chris Perkins, vice president of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “We look forward to seeing Monte Vista’s project take shape over the next year and know that it will help even more Coloradans and visitors alike experience the benefits of time spent outside in the spectacular places surrounding Monte Vista.”

“The VF Foundation believes in the power of the outdoors to transform lives and communities,” said Gloria Schoch, executive director of The VF Foundation. “Thanks to this innovative partnership and locally driven approach to economic development, more people than ever in the San Luis Valley will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of time outside.”

“Recreation Economy for Rural Communities allows our community to come together around common goals. This grant comes at a serendipitous time and gives us the ability and opportunity to hear from the community about what they would like to see for their community,” said Mick Daniel, executive director of Monte Vista’s San Luis Valley Great Outdoors. “We can talk about tourism, we can talk about outdoor recreation, but in the end, it’s going to be the community that is going to be using this resource. What do they want? What are they going to do? How are they going to treat it? Now we’ve got a story, we have momentum, the passion behind this project is astounding, and we are ready.”

“Having grown up in the San Luis Valley, I know the potential for Monte Vista to grow its outdoor recreation economy in a manner that is true to the community’s history, values and priorities while providing numerous health and economic benefits,” said Conor Hall, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “This grant aligns nicely with investment our office has made in the region for trail planning and increased access to the outdoors. We are grateful to have close partners like ORR and The VF Foundation in these efforts.”

Over the next year, ORR said it will work with Monte Vista to profile their efforts and share their learnings with other communities around the United States.

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