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.



This event was an opportunity for farmers who are looking to sell their products to meet local food buyers, and for food businesses seeking local prod... Learn More
UNH Cooperative Extension is pleased to welcome Nate Bernitz to the Community and Economic Development (CED) team. On January 9th, Nate started his ro... Learn More
The UNH President’s Embrace NH Tour included a stop in Franklin to feature the positive impacts of engaging the community. In 2015, Extension CED bega... 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
This report studies possible solutions to trail stewardship challenges in Coos County New Hampshire. 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