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Balancing Nature & Commerce in Rural Communities and Landscapes

  • National Conservation Training Center 698 Conservation Way Shepherdstown, WV, 25443 United States (map)

Community Teams Forming Now to Attend the 2017 National Course!

Balancing Nature & Commerce in Rural Communities and Landscapes

Annual Course Offering: January 31-February 2, 2017

Team Application Deadline: December 12, 2016

This team-based course is designed to empower communities to take action! Through a combination of presentations by national instructors, local case studies, and a comprehensive team-based action-planning process, learn how to preserve your community's unique assets while strengthening its economic viability!

Participants attend in teams from their locality, representing a cross-section of their community including elected officials, public land managers, local business owners, local tourism officials and other community leaders!

During this three-day course, participants will hear from experts in areas such as sustainable tourism, natural and cultural resources, economic development, transportation, branding and public health--building on these sessions to map their own natural and cultural assets and develop plans for instigating change in their regions. 

Learn More & Download the Team Application>>

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites rural communities to apply for planning assistance to develop strategies that help grow the economy and revitalize downtown neighborhoods. Read more>>



We are proud to share The Conservation Fund's 2015 Annual Report, reflecting on 30 years of conservation success and our 2015 highlights. These stories show what it means to redefine conservation. Read more>>


Stay up to date on all training and event offerings from the Conservation Leadership Network by visiting our website. Read more here>> 

Katie Allen
Director, Conservation Leadership Network
The Conservation Fund | 304-876-7925


Course Costs

Team Registration Fee: $675/team
Lodging & Meals: $152 each/night ($109 each/night for double occupancy) *plan for 3-4 nights

*Lodging & Meal package includes 3 meals/day and private hotel room

*Hotel room block info will be provided to accepted teams

*Limited assistance is available; requests should be indicated on team application

Event Location

National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Additional Information

The course begins at 8:15 am on Tuesday, January 31st and runs through 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 2nd. For more information about NCTC, go to For more information about course logistics, please contact Margarita Carey (304-876-7924 |

Earlier Event: January 28
“Birds, Bees, Butterflies and Blooms”
Later Event: February 5
Winter Duck Walk