Creating A Sustainable Community 

Sustainability is defined as:  a practice that sustains a given condition, such as economic growth or a human population, without destroying or depleting natural resources, polluting the environment, etc.

To ensure a community’s sustainability we must look towards the future. What is the vision? Is there a plan to get there? Defining the community’s vision for the future involves identifying priorities, valuable resources and assets, identity and so on. Once there is a consensus, the community can determine steps needed to attain that vision.

Learning from Other Communities  – The process of planning or visioning the future is not new.  But to many rural, tourism based communities (and some not so rural), it is.  Often these communities are rich with natural, historic and cultural assets but lack infrastructure.  Early on, these “assets”  created business opportunities for local residents because they attracted people – and thus the tourism economy was born.  This is good but with no plan to manage or preserve the very assets that keep the economy alive, the need to “Plan” becomes more of a need to “Repair and Restore”.

Secrets of Successful Communities - The pdf’s listed below were written and provided by Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute to help communities such as ours begin to restore themselves.  The information was part of a presentation he gave in 2010 titled “Balancing Nature and Commerce in Communities that Neighbor Federal Lands”.  Ocracoke was fortunate to be included in this three-day retreat with the Saltwater Connections team and The Conservation Fund's: Resourceful Communities Program

Ocracoke is not alone – Read on! 

2011 Community Workshops

Facilitated by the Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program and in partnership with Saltwater Connections, a series of island workshops began that examined local needs. Those results were produced in the Ocracoke Preliminary Report.  

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We’ve been given the tools – so what’s the next step Ocracoke? Send in your thoughts.


Workshop #1 January 18, 2011 Creating Sustainable Local Economies Noon – 3:00PM at the Ocracoke Community Center Speaker: Becky Anderson Founder “Handmade in America” Ms. Anderson will introduce us to the revitalization success of Handmade in America and touch on: What is Community Based Tourism? What is a Creative Economy? Asset Based Planning and Revitalization, the value of a good plan and local involvement. A String of Pearls – Regional Tourism. Who Are We?

Workshop #2 March 31, 2011 Ocracoke Community Revitalization Core Group Discussion2:00PM – 5:00PM at the Ocracoke Community Center Facilitated by Mikki Sager and Susan Sachs, Conservation Fund’s resourceful Communities Program Purpose of this workshop is to gather together, share our accomplishments and strengths and engage community members in thinking about and planning for a future that benefits the whole community.