In a Poor Economy, Adams County’s Rebrand Capitalizes on its Wealth of Natural Splendor

17 Jan 2012
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In this time of financial hardship and uncertainty, global and local economies of every shape and size are desperately seeking solutions to soaring unemployment and stymied economic growth. As many communities hedge their bets on highly sought-after stimulus dollars to help rid them of their fiscal woes, one rural, hard-hit county decided to make their own luck.

Adams County, Ohio, historically one of the poorest counties in the state, decided that what they’ve lacked in dollars for development in the past could be buoyed by the wealth of natural splendor that surrounds them. The county, which is home to Ohio’s largest private nature preserve, is making the most of what they already have—large, serene tracts of unbroken forest and miles of hiking trails. This past fall, after receiving a grant from the Nature Conservancy, Adams County turned to LPK to rebrand their region as an ecotourism mecca.

Investing in promoting sustainable tourism can boost a nature-rich region’s economic growth and stimulate the local economy with a greater influx of tourist dollars, new jobs and higher residential and commercial property values. By becoming savvier environmental entrepreneurs and more efficient marketers of their natural oasis, Adams County is also ensuring the preservation of their forests for years to come.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship between the Nature Conservancy, the preserve and the county,” said Rick Connor, LPK Creative Director. “Ecotourism promotes the continued conservation of wildlife and natural habitat within the preserve and ensures that natural resources are managed in a way that preserves them for future generations.”

Over the course of a month and a half, LPK helped to craft a rejuvenated identity for the county’s Travel and Visitors Bureau: designing a new logo, a visual system, developing a narrative and a website for the Bureau at no cost. The new logo was inspired by Adams County’s Quilt Barn heritage and is illustrated with a system of nine different squares representing the variety of activities visitors can participate in or visit within the county.