BY KATHRYN RYAN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, THE HUB
Having the opportunity to revitalize your community can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. How do you decide what projects will have impact? How can you tell what ideas might rally community support? Who can you get on your team to implement a project and what kinds of resources and stakeholders do you need to gather for effective implementation?
The Hub’s Cultivate WV communities are currently thinking through these big picture questions. Residents of Cowen and Moorefield are attending a series of workshops put on by program leaders so that they can have these discussions in a format that streamlines the process, offers expertise and access to resources, and builds community teams.
These two communities are on track to formulate ideas for community projects that will revitalize their downtowns, improve tourism, strengthen cultural pride, increase access to healthy living, and so much more.
What will community teams do with these project ideas?
They’ll be applying to fund them through the program’s mini-grants opportunity. Project ideas like community garden space and an outdoor classroom in Cowen or bike-friendly streets in Moorefield will have the chance to be funded for implementation in 2019.
Other project ideas include: a railroad festival; movies in the park; town Christmas lights; building murals; a youth drop-in center; historic sidewalk repair; a river festival; city beautification; community signage; river access; and many more.
With support from community coaches, these community teams are thinking critically about how to build impact in their communities in ways that their fellow citizens can get behind. In the spring, we will announcing which projects are being funded, and we’ll begin helping these teams to get started on the implementation process.
Building community revitalization initiatives can be overwhelming, but with support from experts, access to resources, and gathering people who care, it’s an exciting and motivating endeavor.