Nature Economy

  • family walking outdoors

Strengthening Economy Through Nature

Assessing, evaluating, valuing and connecting natural assets with community goals to create vibrant economies and high quality of life for all.

Downtowns & Trails

The Downtowns and Trails program explores opportunities for linking downtowns and trails. The program includes assessing the downtown area, linkage area, and trails; training volunteers to conduct interviews with businesses, residents and community leaders; and training volunteers to administer an intercept survey of those using the trails to determine their interest and use of downtown. The community is engaged to share results of the assessment and determine next steps for moving forward.

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Person biking, people sitting on bench, stroller and dog on a trail by water

Natural Resource Inventories

A Guide for New Hampshire Communities and Conservation Groups (NH NRI Guide) provides communities, conservation groups and professionals a practical method for creating a natural resources inventory. By identifying and describing natural resources in a local setting, a natural resources inventory (NRI) provides a strong foundation for proactive conservation planning and informed decision-making.

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rocky brook

Rivers & Economic Vibrancy

Rivers play an important role in a community’s economy, serving as a place to fish, paddle, enjoy a lunchtime walk, observe wildlife and relax with friends and family. Many New Hampshire communities can become River Towns — communities that embrace their downtown river as a source of economic vibrancy. 

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The Benefits of a Capacity Building Approach to Nature-Based Economic Development
On a recent sunny Saturday morning, a group of dedicated community volunteers gathered in the Village of Contoocook, in the Town of Hopkinton, NH, to ... Learn More
Industry, UNH research and partnerships drive blue economy growth
New Hampshire’s blue economy is ever evolving, with new investments, research and businesses creating jobs and helping solve the challenges of both to... Learn More
UNH Extension’s Downtowns & Trails program helps communities utilize the natural and built world
NH Extension Community and Economic Development staff are available to help communities understand areas of improvement through the Downtowns & Trails... Learn More


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The Nature Economy Collaborative, supported by UNH Collaborative Research Excellence, is pleased to share a brand-new information brief on the communi... Learn More
We aim to help communities connect the environment and natural resources with community goals to create vibrant economies and high quality of life for... Learn More
New Hampshire is fortunate to have many natural assets that support our quality of life and economic vibrancy. In a new info brief we share eight spec... Learn More
Nature and access to natural assets can be important components of a downtown economy. In this new brief from the Nature Economy Collaborative, we det... Learn More
Over the past two years, interrupted but not deterred by the ongoing pandemic, we worked adaptively and creatively with the Ossipee Economic Developme... Learn More
Over six months, from Sept. 2021-March 2022, we worked with the City of Keene on how to better connect two rail trails with their downtown businesses.... Learn More