April 11, 2015 by Kathy Jesperson, NRCCE
Morgantown, W.Va. – There is nothing like a community fair. They provide a way to get out and get to know your neighbors. And they’re just plain fun.
The city of Fairmont and its partners decided there was no better way to celebrate the city’s revitalization efforts and than to host a community fair.
The fair will be held Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 12–4 p.m. at the new community center at 305 10th St., Fairmont. The public is invited to attend this free event.
The community center was officially christened “The Storefront” at a ribbon cutting ceremony in early March. The community fair will provide area residents with a way to find out what’s happening at the new Storefront and with future revitalizations efforts in the city.
Prior to the fair, the Fairmont BAD Buildings team is sponsoring a Beltline neighborhood cleanup. The group will meet at the Storefront at 8:30 a.m. and the cleanup will continue until noon. Lunch will be provided at noon at Palatine Park.
The Storefront brings together the Fairmont Urban Renewal Authority; Landscape Architecture and Strategic Communications students from West Virginia University; and WVU’s Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC). The groups work together in Fairmont as “Your Neighborhood, Your Future” (YNYF).
YNYF is sponsoring the fair and invites the community to attend.
“There will be opportunities to share your talents, to hear about plans developed by the city and WVU students, and to get involved in revitalization efforts in the neighborhood.”
The Beltline is defined as the area from 4th Street to 10th Street and from Fairmont Avenue to the Monongahela River.
“The YNYF focuses on the Beltline community in Fairmont because the area has such great potential,” said Stanton.
While the Beltline has experienced its share of hardship, the YNYF project is set to revitalize the area. Old abandoned warehouses and industries will be refurbished and made into new businesses to spark economic development.
“The community fair will highlight the great work by the Landscape Architecture and Strategic Communication programs at WVU, including planning work with residents, cultural analysis and marketing work,” said Staton.
“The Storefront offers a new way for residents to engage with the city, consultants, and WVU professors,” said Staton. “At the Storefront, residents can drop by during office hours to view past plans, share their input on neighborhood priorities and learn how to get involved as a community leader to breathe new life into the neighborhood.
“The Storefront also provides some great community space that can be used by residents for community meetings, workshops or other events right in the neighborhood.”
Staton added that by engaging with West Virginians to create stronger communities and neighborhoods, the university succeeds in its land-grant mission and efforts within the state to provide service learning to its students.
In addition, the YNYF initiative being tested in Fairmont will provide a new model for other professors and classes to use in their work in communities across the state.
CONTACT: Carrie Staton; Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center
The NBAC is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy.