47 new community projects coming to Cowen and Moorefield

Community members in Cowen accept their grant awards

BY KATHRYN RYAN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, THE HUB

A Friendly Note from The Hub Team: Are you a supporter of The Hub’s work? In 2019, we’re celebrating our 10th birthday! Please consider a donation of $10 to help us continue serving West Virginia communities for the next 10 years and beyond. Click here to go to our Birthday Donation Page.

The Hub’s newest community development program, Cultivate West Virginia, has announced 47 mini grant awards toward revitalization projects in Cowen and Moorefield! This seed money will allow these communities to build momentum toward greater community revitalization as they take on projects related to downtown beautification, tourism, community events, and more.

By working together within and amongst project teams, tracking progress, and utilizing shared resources, these communities are building their capacity to leverage further funding toward larger scale economic development.

Interested to see what kinds of projects build community development? Here are the awarded projects in each Cultivate community:

Moorefield Revitalization Mini Grant Projects:

  • Moorefield Micro Farmers Market
  • Moorefield High School Hospitality Services
  • VISTA Community Support
  • South Branch Riverfest Event
  • Bishoff Photography Community Photos Exhibit
  • ‘Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?’ Street Art Initiative
  • Hardy County Historical Museum Enhancement
  • ‘Up Up and Away’ Playground Additions
  • Church Flagstone Repair
  • ‘Faces of Moorefield’ Community Mural
  • Higgins House Fence Repair
  • ‘Finding Pupuseria Emerita’ Local Business Signage
  • ‘Moorefield Empowers Community’ Self Defense Classes
  • WPA Sidewalk Restoration
  • Moorefield Semi Mobile Train Platform
  • Moorefield Masonry Workshop
  • ‘Higgins House: Something to Stand On’ Repair Initiative
  • Moorefield High School Micro-Business Complex Pocket Park
  • Moorefield High School Micro-Business Complex Art Picket Fence Project
  • ‘Carla’s Public Garden’ Seasonal Decorations Project
  • ‘Moorefield Dances’ Classes & Events
  • Here We Are! Historical Society Museum Signage
  • ‘To Be or Not to Be’ Community Theater Event

Cowen Revitalization Mini Grant Projects:

  • ‘Movies on the Hill’ Community Event Series
  • Webster County Little Libraries
  • ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ Community Event Space Improvements
  • ‘Repair the Pavillion’ Initiative
  • Cowen Post Office Flower Box
  • ‘Rain and Drain’ Library Space Repair
  • ‘Covering New Ground’ Softball Parking
  • Cowen Tennis & Basketball Courts
  • Sewing & Quilting Community Events
  • ‘1913 Corner Store – How it all Began’ Community Exhibit
  • Marathon Scholar Program
  • VISTA Community Support
  • ‘The Engine that Could’ Community Mural
  • ‘It’s All About Choices’ Community Event
  • High School Dugout Home
  • Get Fit Cowen
  • ‘Under the Big Tent’ Volunteer Fire Department Tent & Accessories
  • ‘Mow Shack’ Softball Lawn Care Building
  • Cowen Farmers Market
  • ‘Come Play with Me!’ Playground Equipment
  • ‘Roof for the Hounds’ Structure
  • ‘Fountains and Flowers for our Friends’ Public Space Improvement
  • ‘Raise the Fence’ Softball Field Project
  • ‘Field of Dreams’ Softball Field Project

The community members who have stepped forward in Cowen and Moorefield are leading the way toward healthy, happy, and thriving communities. And the most exciting part? This is just the beginning.

As Cowen and Moorefield head into the implement phase of these revitalization projects, they’ll be building momentum, community support, and more opportunities to leverage with increased experience and resources in hand. By coming together as a community, these established and emerging leaders are laying the foundation necessary for the economic development that West Virginia needs.

Want to know more about how the Cultivate West Virginia program works with communities toward increased engagement, buy-in, and community growth? Learn more on our Cultivate WV page.

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Systemic Change

2021 became a time period of catalytic potential as we saw years of investment into our core strategies to enact systemic change yield new results. Our strategic focus areas include policy, communications, and supporting the community economic development system in leveraging unique financing opportunities such as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative and Opportunity Zones.

In addition, through our strategic policy support role within the Abandoned Properties Coalition, The Hub successfully advanced two key objectives: a statewide land bank and extension of the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 

Through the Opportunity Appalachia program, 6 catalytic community projects located in WV-based Opportunity Zones received $250,000 for pre-development technical assistance. Three projects received additional private funding as a result of program participation.

Cowen

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. Read their community case study.

Montgomery

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Smithers

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Kingwood

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Lewis County

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Meadow River Valley Region

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Monticello Neighborhood of Clarksburg

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Watch their community documentary.

New Martinsville

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Parsons

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Elkins

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. 

A core team led by Woodlands Development Group also participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Community Coaching

In 2021, we accompanied 16 communities through our in-depth, professional coaching programs. In addition to leaning into coaching and financing opportunities offered through these programs, participating communities leveraged an additional $2.8 million in funding on their own for community economic development projects. While participating in our entry-level coaching program, Cultivate WV, Montgomery and Smithers realized momentum-building success through access to $40,000 in seed funding for projects like farmers markets, public art, wayfinding, community events, and development of a trail system.

Six communities, Lewis County, Kingwood, Meadow River Valley, Monticello neighborhood in Clarksburg, New Martinsville and Parsons, graduated the intermediate planning program Blueprint Communities* with strategic plans in place. We also launched a new round of HubCAP, our flagship community economic development program, in six towns located in the Monongahela National Forest region: Cowen, Franklin, White Sulphur Springs, Elkins, Marlinton, and Petersburg.

Franklin

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Marlinton

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Petersburg

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

White Sulphur Springs

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Charleston

A core team led by Crawford Holdings, LLC participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Huntington

Core teams led by Thundercloud, Inc. and the City of Huntington participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support community development projects located in Opportunity Zones.

Grafton

A core team led by Unleash Tygart, Inc participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Leadership Development

As hundreds of people began to engage in our virtual training activities in 2020, we saw a critical opportunity to scale and deepen our impact. This year, The Hub team developed an accessible, virtual platform with options for self-guided and group learning activities as well as professional coaching.

Kickstart Communities is now the crux of our efforts to bring new people into the work and grow their leadership. These activities now form the foundational stages of a Community Leadership Development Pipeline to move motivated residents from seeing the challenges in their communities to proactively collaborating to resolve them.

Message from our Executive Leadership Team

Fifteen years ago, stakeholders building up local communities and economies in West Virginia convened to map a coordinated strategy to systemically grow community economic development activity in the state. From the shared vision and collaborative leadership of dozens of strategic partners across the state, the WV Community Development Hub was born.

Since that time, The Hub has grown into the anchor community development organization serving West Virginia. We have built upon the original vision to create a method for rural, community-led development strategies that is uniquely tailored to the needs and opportunities of our state.

As we have grown and developed a proven model for success, our partnerships with community and economic development practitioners, funders, and committed West Virginia residents have been foundational to every element of our work.

Over the past two years, the team at The Hub has adapted to the unprecedented challenges our communities have faced during the pandemic by leaning into our core strengths to deepen our impact. The Hub remains committed to tackling persistent challenges, and we have focused our attention on the most impactful elements of our work.

We are supporting community leaders to advance their visions for local development, creating new pathways for engagement and leadership growth through our virtual training platform, and leading strategies that lift up voices of community leaders to move forward solutions to long-held challenges to growth.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that nothing about the future is set in stone. While the coming year may present enormous opportunities for advancement in our state, they will also inevitably require significant capacity building, shared strategies that are grounded in trust-based partnerships, and extended efforts to support the leadership development of individuals and organizations who have been asked to do more during a time of extreme stress and strain.

The services that anchor organizations like The Hub provide are even more critical in this time, and we expect our work to scale significantly in the coming years ahead.

We look forward to continuing to do the work of putting into action the vision and the shared strategies envisioned by that core group of community economic development practitioners and funders fifteen years ago.

In Continued Accompaniment,

– WV Community Development Hub
Executive Leadership Team

Stephanie Tyree

Executive Director

Amanda Workman Scott

Director of Community Engagement

Emma Pepper

Director of Strategic Network Communications

Katie Loudin

Director of Strategic Development