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  • What is a Geopark?

What is a Geopark?

A Geopark is an area that bring geology, cultural heritage, natural resource and outdoor recreation together with three specific goals.

  • To protect geological sites of international significance through proper planning, management and legislation;
  • To encourage the sustainable use of geo-sites for knowledge-transfer activities; and
  • To promote geo-tourism and local engagement activities in the geopark.

A Geopark status does not imply restrictions on any economic activity inside a Geopark where that activity complies with indigenous, local, regional, and/or federal legislation.

aerial image of river 

Why create a Geopark in West Virginia? 

  • To stimulate much-needed economic development in the region;
  • To develop and enrich the surrounding communities (initially, Raleigh, Fayette, and Greenbrier Counties) through this innovative and contemporary opportunity; and
  • To elevate – and celebrate – our state’s geology, coal heritage, rail heritage, caverns and caves, springs, historical monuments, protected areas, and other attributes and landmarks that help define West Virginia.