Why We Do What We Do
Resourceful Communities was created to meet both a challenge and an opportunity in North Carolina. As in many predominantly rural states, there is a direct geographic overlap in North Carolina between the most significant and intact natural ecosystems (circled in red — the Sandhills, Coastal Plain and Southern Appalachian Mountains) and the most economically distressed parts of the state (designated as our Tier One and Tier Two counties, shown in orange and yellow, respectively).
While the traditional strategy to build economic opportunity in these areas has been based in natural resource extraction, we recognize the strategy is not sustainable, nor are the impacts and benefits equitable. Instead, Resourceful Communities helps communities:
- Capitalize sustainably on their significant natural resource base;
- Tap their cultural traditions of land and water stewardship and entrepreneurship; and
- Leverage environmental dollars, expertise and techniques to increase local wealth and improve the quality of life by “creating new economies” that protect, enhance and restore the natural resource base.