How It Works


The concept behind NBP is not brand new, but PDC aims to blend a variety of related theories and approaches into a strategic, thoughtful and practical revitalization program. The NBP project aims to:

Structurally, NBP will combine the many facets of current outdoor recreation and economic development linkages into what PDC aims to be the most comprehensive and sustainable approach to recreation-based community revitalization to date. Often, individual theories prove to be too specific or are limiting in their approach, whereas the idea behind the theory is to include multidisciplinary schools of thought in order to be applicable to all and impactful for most.

This project also examines, to the greatest extent possible, the successes of exiting recreation/economic development ideas based off of various area-based and corridor-wide initiatives, such as the Trail Town Program® ,the various “rivertowns” efforts (as they currently exist within the commonwealth), the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide, the National Parks Service and other such existing efforts.

Nature-Based Placemaking takes all of these theories and incorporates them into a contemporary approach to community revitalization predicated on their linkages with Pennsylvania’s natural recreational assets.


As the statewide coordinator for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program, and as the technical assistance link between the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Keystone Communities Main Street and Elm Street programs, PDC has a unique understanding of and familiarity with Pennsylvania’s core communities. PDC is excited to continue in partnership with DCNR on this project and for the opportunity to help cultivate appreciation of and access to Pennsylvania’s natural resources, exceptional outdoor recreational assets and extraordinary towns.

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) awarded PDC with a grant to support development of the 2014-2019 Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan – Natural Connections. Goals of the Plan include: to strengthen the connections between outdoor recreation, healthy lifestyles and the associated economic benefits to communities and to create planning guidelines and to develop standardized benchmarks that can be utilized in communities with all types of recreational assets, of all sizes whether they are rural, urban, or suburban. PDC is developing a strategy that will address these opportunities and provide communities with the ability to develop them to their fullest potential.

PA Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans

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