Tourism, Outdoor Recreation & Nature Economy

  • New Hampshire bridge

Leveraging Natural, Cultural and Historical Assets

From forests to farms to historic downtowns, New Hampshire has a wide variety of natural and cultural resources that can enhance quality of life for residents and generate economic benefits to communities. Oftentimes, these assets require proactivity, intentionality, and strategy for communities to leverage them. UNH Cooperative Extension provides communities with support to bring these assets to their full potential.


New Hampshire’s iconic natural beauty, local culture and recreational offerings draw more than 10 million visitors annually. These strengths also have the power to revitalize communities, incentivize investment, and attract new residents and workforce talent. Extension is committed to supporting tourism development that sustains and improves the quality of life for residents and protects our cultural and natural resources.

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Portsmouth NH waterfront

Outdoor Recreation

We work with communities to leverage their natural and cultural resources to create resilient and sustainable economies that highlight the state's diverse natural resources and unique quality of life.

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hikers feet on a dirt trail

Nature Economy

We aim to help communities connect the environment and natural resources with community goals to create vibrant economies and high quality of life for all. This can be in the form of assisting communities in identifying and utilizing their natural capital, such as connecting their downtowns with trails and leveraging green infrastructure to reduce or maintain costs of community services.

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scenic New Hampshire mountain view

Each community and project is unique. We are happy to consult with you about how our team may be helpful to your community's specific needs.

In general, below is a sample of services we have provided or helped to facilitate with our partners:

  • Long-term community-based programming
  • Educational workshops 
  • Project technical assistance
  • Technical reports
  • Community or regional assessments
  • Asset inventories
  • Economic impact analyses
  • Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research
  • Strategic planning and visioning
  • Group facilitation work
  • Funding and grant writing guidance (note: we do not provide direct grant writing services)

Please click the topic area link above for more information about our programs or contact us.



Derek Ferland, Sullivan County Manager and Becky Levy, Extension's Community & Economic Development Field Specialist in Sullivan County joined Steve S... Learn More
With the increasing need for quality housing, conversations about whether, and how, to permit short-term rentals tend to be challenging. Short-term re... Learn More
UNH Cooperative Extension is pleased to welcome Matt Marzolo to the Community and Economic Development program team. Matt recently started his role as... Learn More
New data released in November from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that Outdoor Recreation accounts for 3.2% of New Hampshire’s GDP. This amount... Learn More
During the final weekend of September, just as the maple trees were starting to turn red up north, hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts gathered in Francon... Learn More
New research confirms that arts and culture is not only good for you, it’s good for your community, and good for business. Nationally, the Arts & Econ... 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
Cultivating Farm Experiences is a four-part Zoom webinar series that examines agritourism. Each session focuses on the different aspects of incorporat... Learn More
An increasing number of farms in NH and beyond are incorporating agritourism activities and/or event hosting into their business models. While these c... 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