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

Nature Economy Collaborative

The Nature Economy Collaborative is an interdisciplinary working group, led by the University of New Hampshire, that aims to foster dialogue with stakeholders and conduct research to document changes to New Hampshire's economy as it relates to the use and value of nature. Specifically, the group seeks to understand nature economy-related data needs to inform policy around four themes: education, training and workforce development, community development and quality of life, natural asset use and climate resilience.

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Exterior deck with picnic tables of a trailside business in Ossipee New Hampshire

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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Community and Economic Development staff presented the Hopkinton-Contoocook Downtowns and Trail program report and findings at a community showcase he... Learn More
Pros and Cons of Assessement Methods
A community needs assessment is an essential process for understanding the opinions, assumptions, needs, key issues, and assets within a defined commu... Learn More
Mountain biking economic analysis supports community decision making and engages students
Mountain biking is an increasingly popular outdoor recreation activity in New Hampshire and beyond. Communities recognize mountain biking's economic o... Learn More



A vibrant community relies on several key components, including economic vitality, community health, natural resources and recreation, community engag... Learn More
Many communities have trails in close proximity to their downtowns/village centers/business districts. We share the opportunities and challenges of wo... Learn More
Over a series of months, we worked with the Hopkinton, New Hampshire community on how to better connect its trails with its business center, the Villa... Learn More
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