On October 26-28th, the Town of Pembroke and Giles County hosted a series of virtual workshops as part of the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) program. The workshop sessions are the focal point of the planning process, bringing together federal and local partners to discuss local outdoor recreation and economic development needs and potential solutions, and to work collaboratively to prioritize goals, identify the most impactful projects, and think through the next steps to bring those projects to implementation. The planning process began in late 2019 and later adapted to an online format. During the sessions, 25-30 participants spent 10+ hours together over the course of several sessions, working together to identify a vision, goals, and specific actions to realize the locally set goals. The sessions discussed many topics, including trails to connect outdoor amenities (boat launches, hiking spots, etc.) to downtown business areas, improvements to pedestrian and vehicle safety near downtowns and amenities, and support for coordination of ‘Main Street’ initiatives of the towns in Giles County to redevelop vacant buildings in downtown districts, recruit desired businesses to the downtown area, and support the success of existing businesses.

Currently, the consultant team is working with local partners to finalize an ‘action plan’ to advance the goals and projects identified during the workshops, with a series of three to four follow-up meetings to refine and add detail to the plan starting early this month.

For more information on the Giles County RERC process, please contact Patrick O’Brien: pobrien@nrvrc.org, 540-639-9313 x206