Equity and Economic Impact Study - Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

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Purpose and Objectives

In January 2022, NVRC released the results of a community impact assessment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Northern Virginia. The study includes an assessment of health equity, social equity, transportation, and economic impacts of improving trail access, closing trail gaps, and making safe connections to nearby communities. The objective of the study was to assess the public health and community-related impacts associated with use of the trail and to provide recommendations to maximize those impacts and help justify the investment of public funds.  

Trails not only provide a wide range of recreational values, services, and protection of specific natural and cultural features, but they also explicitly contribute to social and economic well-being. To assist the National Park Service, local governments and land managing agencies with completion of their PHNST trail and connection trail gaps, the NVRC, on behalf of its PHNST partners, seeks to develop a deeper understanding about why the trail and its connections are valuable to Northern Virginia residents, businesses, and the economy.

Research Consultant

Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) retained economic research firm BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct the comprehensive assessment of health, social equity, economic, and transportation impacts that the PHNST has in northern Virginia.

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