A message from the Blueprint Communities team of the Meadow River Valley region of Greenbrier County:
Since joining the 2019 cohort of the Blueprint Communities program, created and sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLB) and implemented by The Hub, the Meadow River Valley Association (MRVA) enjoyed significant wins in many areas of community development. Arguably the most significant of these successes is the growing network of partners embracing and contributing to our vision for the Valley’s future. With help from our partners, MRVA has been able to move forward with its current top priority—repurposing and developing a vacant elementary school campus (the former Rupert Elementary School) into the Meadow River Valley Community Center (MRVCC).
On the Community Center campus, the Meadow River Valley Early Childhood Learning (MARVEL) Center opened its doors to students in September; the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department began clearing land for the Valley’s only helicopter pad for medical evacuations; a preliminary architectural feasibility study has been completed; and the newly formed West End Youth Sports League installed new heating systems in the gymnasium.
Equally important to any initiative in our strategic plan is the growth of MRVA as an institution that supports the region. MRVA President, Matt Ford said, “the Meadow River Valley Association is the mortar that holds all the bricks together.”
We at the Association are growing our capacity and generating successes in other priorities as well. Recreation opportunities in the Valley improved with the transfer of the Meadow River Community Park to the Association, and MRVA has been approved to bring on an AmeriCorps VISTA with support from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and guidance from The Hub. We are currently reviewing applications for the new position.
Here are some of the many benefits we’ve found by participating in the Blueprint Communities program:
- Our organizational capacity increased, and MRVA became the focal point for Valley development.
- We continue to grow our network of partners.
- Developing our strategic plan helped MRVA and the Valley crystalize what our vision and priorities are, while outlining a path towards their accomplishment.
- We developed a multidisciplinary team dedicated to working towards a better future for our Valley and its residents.
“At the end of the day, if MRVA and its partners can foster hope and renewal, we will have done our job.” – David Lumsden, MRVA Vice President