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Strategy Toolkit

Theme Recommendations

RC1: Sustain and enhance water quality. Read more »
RC2: Preserve agriculture and forestry lands. Read more »
RC3: Support the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) in its mission to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Read more »
RC4: Preserve the region's scenic beauty. Read more »
RC5: Recognize the importance of connectivity between protected lands by managing wildlife and recreation corridors for biodiversity and protecting unfragmented forest blocks. Read more »
RC6: Promote the region's cultural assets. Read more »
RC7: Improve monitoring and data collection to build awareness of the region’s natural assets. Read more »
RC8: Raise awareness of the region’s system of natural assets. Read more »

The GroWNC region is resource rich. From the headwaters of the French Broad River in Transylvania County to Blannahassett Island in Madison County, the region is host to an inspiring diversity of natural and cultural assets. Imposing mountain ranges, high elevation balds, crystal clear waters, historic homes, cultural sites, and large tracts of state parks and national forests provide a backdrop to life in the region. These assets serve as the foundation of the agriculture, timber, and tourism industries; provide numerous ecosystem services, such as clean air and water; provide a globally-recognized habitat for game, fish, and birds; offer opportunities for wilderness experiences; and are the source of inspiration to many creative entrepreneurs.

Heritage events, the arts, the economy, and natural resources are inextricably linked. Raw materials for crafters are garnered from the farm and forestlands throughout the region. Inspiration is drawn, literally and figuratively, from the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors are drawn to outdoor festivals by the music and the bucolic surroundings.

Growth and development impact the region’s natural resources, but the natural environment is incredibly resilient and the region still benefits from rare habitats, unparalleled recreational opportunities, magnificent vistas, and a blend of microclimates that contribute to high levels of biodiversity. In addition, the region has established a reputation as a leader for craft production and education throughout the country.

The creative spirit and natural assets of the area will continue to attract people and businesses. As the region grows, it is critical that these resources be protected and enhanced to ensure the region sustains the economy and the unique quality of life valued in the five counties.

Read more about this theme in the Resource Conservation section (pdf) of the Regional Plan.

The Blue Ridge Mountains | Image Credit: Ken Thomas ( Farm in Buncombe County | Image Credit: Land-of-Sky Regional Council Apple Festival in Henderson County | Image Credit: Land-of-Sky Regional Council