It has a long and complicated title, but the goal of our Innovation Acceleration Strategy (IAS) program is short and simple to understand: to help citizens in our coal-impacted communities create new opportunities for their future.
One of the ways we’re doing that is by providing mini-grant funding to help local projects get started. These are projects that citizens in our five IAS communities believe will make their city or town a better place to live, create new jobs and economic opportunities, and provide a welcome shift from the general decline and depression from which these communities have suffered in recent times.
They are local ideas, born of local innovation and determination. And The Hub is proud to be able to support them.
We’ve just begun issuing our second round of mini-grants. Here are the great projects we’ll be funding in Wyoming County!
Local artist Laura Burdette wanted to find a way to grow the Arts in her community. She has taught art classes before, and thought that could be one way to go. After a community survey revealed strong interest in the idea, (and revealed 40 interested potential students), she knew she was onto something.
With the help of the IAS Wyoming County Arts Team, Burdette put together a mini-grant application which has secured $1,120 for start-up funds. And a new partnership with Wyoming County SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), means the group will be able to use the Pineville SADD Power House Youth Center as space for the classes.
The Arts Team plans to expand the kinds of arts classes they offer to include other local artisans. Currently, they plan to offer painting classes with Burdette and music classes with Larry Cooper, the lead band member of the Pineville Methodist Church Band.
Matthew Allen has been working to develop a rail-trail on inactive train tracks in Wyoming County for much longer then we have known him through the IAS program. But we’ve been continuously impressed with his passion and what he has already accomplished.
Now, he is ready to take his plans to the next level.
The next step Allen will be taking is to make the City of Mullens bike friendly. Allen and the Wyoming County Transportation Team has been granted $2,000 to help make this possible. Allen is working with Reece Neeley of the Mullens City Council to install “Share the Road” signs throughout the city to encourage bikers to use their roads.
Allen believes this will not only increase the safety and wellness of people in the City of Mullens, but will also aid the revitalization of downtown and encourage tourists already biking in Twin Falls Resort State Park to bike in downtown Mullens.
We have written before about 14-year-old Joseph Watson’s project to create a Remote Controlled Car track in Wyoming County, after he received the third place prize of $1,000 in our Buck for Bright Ideas funding competition.
It should come as no surprise that his Tourism Team has also been granted $2,000 to continue his project. Their application stated that with the two grants they will be able to purchase a lap counter, making it possible for the upcoming track to hold races.
The team plans to create a 4-H club centered around RC Cars, and hopes this new interest in the hobby will lead to support businesses, such as hobby shops and design businesses.
We’ll be keeping you updated on the mini-grant winners in the other IAS communities here at The Hub Blog, so stay tuned…