Investments in Action



Why Whitley: Designing a New Community Narrative

UK Landscape Architecture rendering of River Fog Park (Image courtesy of Why Whitley Facebook) In 2018 in Whitley County, Kentucky, a group of passionate citizens held a dinner to discuss ways to change the narrative surrounding the community. There were so many things to be proud of within the county,…
Investment in Action
North Carolina

Philip Cooper: Inspiring Change

For Philip Cooper, INSPIRE Coordinator at Land of Sky Regional Development Council, helping his community recover from substance use disorder is not just a job – it’s a personal, lifelong commitment. Philip’s family has called Appalachia home for generations. Though the spirit of hard work and resilience was always in…
Investment in Action
Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Monroe Allegheny Marion

TEAMing Up: A Regional Partnership Story

This story is one of several "Stories of Change" highlighted in a new evaluation of ARC's POWER Initiative.
Investment in Action

ACEnet: Empowering Local Food Entrepreneurs 

For more than 25 years, ARC has partnered with the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) to support entrepreneurs and strengthen economic sectors in 32 counties across Appalachian Ohio. Local food provides a clear path to opportunity, and resilience, in many of those communities. To help them fully harness that potential, ACEnet helps markets…
Investment in Action


Erwin Utilities: Enhancing Broadband in Unicoi County

The town of Erwin, Tennessee is nestled in the mountains of Unicoi County (pictured above) and home to just over 6,000 residents. Though the area is abundant in undisturbed natural assets and access to major roadways, Unicoi is considered economically at-risk and has faced its fair share of challenges. After the coal-industry-related closure of a CSX rail yard in Erwin, around…
Investment in Action


Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure Creates Opportunity in Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of two designations in Appalachia, was the country’s most-visited National Park in 2020. The Smokies’ 12.1 million visitors more than tripled the #2 most-visited destination, Yellowstone National Park. Though surrounding communities like Sevierville benefit greatly from this natural asset, one of the park’s three counties, Cocke, is still considered economically distressed. In fact, the county lacks recreational trails despite its proximity to…
Investment in Action
New York, West Virginia

Allegany Preston

Trail Systems: Guiding Communities to Opportunities

Every Appalachian state has ample trail opportunities, from the Tanglefoot Trail in Mississippi, to South Carolina’s Swamp Rabbit Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Trails are incredible gateways for attracting outside visitors and increasing quality of life for community members. ARC partners have long worked to establish trail systems that…
Investment in Action
West Virginia


New River Gorge: America’s Newest National Park

West Virginia’s New River Gorge is America’s newest national park, which has made headlines in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Conde Nast Traveler. Though excited by the national attention and economic potential, West Virginians have always known this area as an invaluable natural asset. Over the years, ARC…
Investment in Action