There’s a palpable sense of hopefulness and renewal in Rainelle and the surrounding area these days, with community gardens and farmers markets sprouting up, educational and farm-to-table initiatives taking root, and more opportunities for recreation and healthy activities being developed. Local Foods, Local Places (LF/LP), a multi-federal agency technical assistance grant, aims to build on this momentum by developing an action plan and attracting more resources to the area.
LF/LP in Rainelle is being driven by a Steering Committee made up of community stakeholders and leaders, as well as staff of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation and Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative. Rainelle was one of 27 communities out of over 300 applicants nationwide chosen to participate in this program, and the hope is that the LF/LP process will eventually be replicated in other towns throughout the region.
As a part of LF/LP, community members will have the opportunity to share their ideas of how local foods can support a healthier and stronger Rainelle and surrounding communities. Workshops, which are open to the public and designed to bring people together to create a plan for building a stronger Western Greenbrier County through a number of local food and community planning strategies, will take place on the evening of Monday, June 27th and all day Tuesday, June 28th. These events will be preceded by a parade and festival, Down on the Farm/All About Kids, in Rainelle on Saturday, June 25th.
One of the purposes of LF/LP in Rainelle is to coordinate, expand, and strengthen existing efforts surrounding agriculture and access to fresh foods, downtown revitalization, health, education, and recreation in Western Greenbrier County, all with a focus on childhood wellness. By nurturing and teaching our children through activities such as growing, harvesting and eating vegetables, we can create a brighter, more resilient future for the region. These efforts will be reinforced by an educational program being launched by Greenbrier Valley Grown in the fall of 2016.