The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, originally named the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail, was initially imagined as a way to grow the nature and heritage tourism industry in the Pennsylvania Wilds by promoting the region’s unique artisan wood products, and tying them to the regional PA Wilds brand. The opportunity, however, was much greater. The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. In 2007, following the Artisan Development Initiative economics study, the PA Wilds Artisan Trail program was born. In 2015, the program was relaunched as the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania to better reflect its growing membership and mission.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania grows and connects the unique establishments central to our place-based tourism development. We provide members with branding and marketing tools; networking and education opportunities; access to new markets and products; and mentorship and referrals to PA’s financial and technical service programs for small businesses.
Our creative artists and entrepreneurs can influence our regional brand and visitor experience in a unique way. We are proud to be building one of rural PA’s largest networks of creative entrepreneurs, helping them network and learn from each other, and bringing products to market that reflect our region’s natural beauty, bounty and rural traditions, while giving an economic boost to our communities.
HOW WE’RE ORGANIZED
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is a program of the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship Inc. (PA Wilds Center), a 501(c)(3) regional nonprofit. Program development guidance is provided by a volunteer Advisory Committee comprised of program members and other stakeholders. Staff support for the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania program is provided through a partnership with Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA).
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is a program of the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, a regional non-profit. Find them online at facebook.com/pawildsTreps or Twitter @pawildsTreps