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Outdoor Recreation

Build Your Outdoor Recreation Economy

Outdoor recreation is a significant and growing segment of the economy, serving as an engine for small business growth, contributing to the economic impact of tourism, and improving quality of life for rural communities. In terms of its contribution to GDP, the outdoor recreation industry rivals high-profile sectors like mining, agriculture and big pharma.

Rural BaseCamp works with community, governmental, corporate, and nonprofit partners to develop a stakeholder team, shared vision and action plan to connect your community and visitors with area outdoor recreation assets. We assist with planning, marketing, grant writing, interpretation through signage and brochures, digital marketing, media relations, and podcast storytelling.


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Bikeways of the Scenic South Road Cycling Initiative

Partnered with Shannon Burke, owner of Velo View Bike Tours, and Jim Johnson, owner of, to develop a road cycling initiative in seven counties in Southeast Tennessee, as well as North Georgia and Northeast Alabama. Coordinated “Partner Peddle” events with stakeholders to generate support for road cycling tourism development.

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Hiwassee Blueway Development  (Polk, Bradley, McMinn and Meigs counties)

Led regional effort to brand the Hiwassee River as a blueway and promote public access on the river, tourism surrounding the river, and heritage sites. Designed access site signage for the project. Raised more than $100,000 in grant funds and donations for the project since 2013. Worked with TDOT to coordinate their agency installing boat ramp signage on state routes. Coordinated annual “Partner Paddle” events to engage partners and experience sections of the river.

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Sequatchie River Blueway 

Worked to improve public access on the Sequatchie River and brand the river as a blueway for outdoor recreation. Developed stakeholder teams in each of three counties along the river. Organized “Partner Paddle” with 40+ participants, including county mayors, to generate interest in branding the Sequatchie River as a blueway and improving access. Obtained $300,000+ in grant funds from state, private and local entities to develop a boat ramp on public property in Dunlap, Tenn. Worked with city and county entities to facilitate purchase of property along the Sequatchie River for public access in Pikeville, Tenn. Obtained state grant to create Sequatchie River Blueway branding and signage.

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Bledsoe County GeoTour 

Worked with community partners in a distressed county to create a branded GeoTour, which included research, writing, branding and marketing assistance.

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Ketner’s Mill Low-Head Dam

Worked with a private landowner with a deadly low-head dam on his property along the Sequatchie River. Five people have drowned at this dam since 2015. Facilitated involvement in the project with county mayor’s office, American Rivers, The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee, TWRA, the National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, UT Knoxville School of Engineering and Tennessee Aquatic Connectivity Team. Coordinated donation of safety buoys and safety signage to landowner through TWRA. Wrote articles about the danger of low-head dams for the Thrive Regional Partnership’s annual report.

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Obtained federal Cares Act funding to develop an educational campaign promoting outdoor safety and planning in outdoor recreation settings. Produced five videos and a social media campaign to promote trail safety, water safety, packing out trash, planning ahead, and family-friendly behavior.

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