September 14, 2021
The US Biosphere Network, National Park Service, and The Conservation Fund are pleased to announce the 2021 Sustainable Gateway Community Workshop Series! This virtual workshop series is an exciting opportunity for organizations and individuals across the country to join with their peers to learn about the role of sustainability in their communities and Biosphere Regions, how to overcome barriers and capitalize on opportunities, and how to engage partners and resources to achieve sustainability goals.

Through a mix of expert-led panels and facilitated discussions, participants will develop strategies for using each Biosphere’s rich natural and cultural resources to strengthen the local economy, develop priorities for sustainability and resiliency, and engage a diverse network of partners to support goals. The workshop series will include presentations on the role of sustainability and gateway communities, asset-based economic development, inspirational success stories, and partnership and funding resources. Each workshop will include small group working sessions and discussions on building community vision and goals, and specific actions for reaching them. Workshop series participation will enable teams to produce an action plan ready to implement!

Workshop 1: Gateway Communities & Sustainable Development

September 14, 2021 | 1:00-5:00 pm EDT *registration is now closed

The first in the 3-part series of virtual workshops (4 hours each) will be open to all interested parties and will provide a broad overview of the role of gateway communities and defining sustainable development in this context. This workshop will address why it is important to preserve community character and what communities can do to capitalize on their proximity to public lands and their recognition as a Biosphere Region to support quality of life and community wealth generation.

Workshops 2 & 3: A Team-Based Approach

  • Workshop 2: Challenges, Opportunities & Inspiration (Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 1:00-5:00 pm EDT)
  • Workshop 3: Partnerships & Resources for Success (Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 1:00-5:00 pm EST)

Workshop 2 and 3 are designed to be attended by community/regional teams. To attend workshops 2 & 3, localities must form a community team, go through a competitive application process, commit to attend both workshops, and complete assigned pre-workshop exercises. Assistance and coaching will be available throughout this process. If accepted, there is no fee for teams to attend. Over the course of the workshop series, community teams will develop an action plan to meet sustainability goals within their Biosphere Region, while networking with other Biosphere Regions.

How to Apply:

DOWNLOAD the Team Application Information Package to learn more and apply for workshops 2 & 3! The team application deadline is Monday, September 20th.

Benefits of Attendance

  • Community Character: Learn to balance growth and development with smart conservation practices
  • Environmental Stewardship: Learn how environmental stewardship practices can be applied to your community’s unique environmental assets
  • Economic Boost: Learn how to enhance your sustainable asset-based economy and how the Biosphere recognition can boost marketing
  • Wider Collaboration: Build new partnerships to work across boundaries, find common goals and interests, and work toward mutual goals


For more information about the workshop series or to request guidance on forming a team, please contact Susan Elks ( For assistance with the registration process, please contact Margarita Carey (