- Huntsville is a regional destination for recreation tourism.
- Huntsville’s recreation offerings are used as a recruiting tool for new industry and workforce.
There is a great deal of overlap between quality of life and economic development. Nowhere is that more evident than in the opportunities for recreation in Huntsville. By continuing to build upon a strong recreational base, the City can improve quality of life for residents, continue diversification of the local economy and broaden the economic base for the region.
With this in mind, the Huntsville metro should be shaped and marketed as a “Recreation Destination”: a place that offers a broad and deep variety of outdoor activities, such that it becomes a focus for travel and tourism.
The natural resources exist:
- Thousands of acres of preserved land (including Monte Sano State Park, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, and properties owned and maintained by entities like The Land Trust of North Alabama and Forever Wild);
- Accessible waterways (including the Flint River, the Paint Rock River, and in particular Ditto Landing Marina on the Tennessee River);
- A variety of caving sites; numerous floodways and drainage ways;
- Undeveloped mountains immediately adjacent to core neighborhoods and the downtown.
Added to the mix are several recreation-oriented industries like Polaris and Remington, which can add to the local brand. Future opportunities exist across the region, including Exploration Park (as part of the Space and Rocket Center and Redstone Arsenal); an expanded Ditto Landing; a regional greenway network connecting the communities of North Alabama; among others.
Enter into a partnership with a local non-profit to help accelerate the build-out of the greenway network.
Update the Huntsville Greenway Master Plan every five years in cooperation with a non-profit partner.
Create a working group to plan for and implement a regional greenway network connecting Huntsville, Athens and Decatur, with an eye on connecting to destinations farther afield, like the Chief Ladiga Trail in Anniston, and Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail.
Support the recruitment of recreation-based industries, and look for opportunities to partner with existing industries (for example, engage Polaris to create a dedicated off-road “ATV recreation area” within the metro).
Develop a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) system that would allow for urban open space to be preserved without sacrificing land value based on potential by-right development.
Last modified: March 27th, 2019 at 5:40 pm