BY KAYCIE STUSHEK, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NETWORK COORDINATOR, THE HUB
Congratulations to the champions who have been recognized by the WV Brownfields Assistance Centers for their innovation, collaboration, and hard work on the redevelopment of brownfields across the region!
The WV Brownfield Awards are presented every year at the WV Brownfields Conference. These awards celebrate the great work happening in the field of brownfield redevelopment, and to honor the innovation, passion, and excellence of West Virginians working in this area.
We are lucky enough to work with a few of of these award winners who are participating in the latest round of the Blueprint Communities program:
- Matt Ford, President of the Meadow River Valley Association, who was recognized with the Community Engagement award, and
- Martin Howe, President, MVB Community Development Corporation, who was recognized with the Local Leadership award.
Congratulations also to the teams at the City of Milton; Wyoming County Economic Development Authority’s Barkers Creek Industrial Park project; and WVU Department of Public Administration on their awards!
What is a brownfield?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a brownfield as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”
The WV Brownfields Assistance Centers describe the value of redeveloping these properties:
Brownfields can be redeveloped in many different ways: old industrial buildings can be turned into new real estate, new building can occur on cleared sites, and community infrastructure and aesthetics can be improved by creating more greenspace.
Brownfield redevelopment helps to:
- Turn community health and safety liabilities into community assets;
- Create new, local jobs;
- Increase property values;
- Eliminate eyesores;
- Enhance economic/tax base development;
- Support sustainable use of land, by preserving greenfields and preventing sprawl; and
- Links economic vitality with environmental benefits.