BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) – A team of community leaders from Lewis and Upshur counties have been selected to participate in the 2022 Appalachian Gateways Community Initiative program.

The leaders will represent Appalachian West Virginia at a three-day workshop in North Carolina in October.

Officials said the team will be working to leverage natural and cultural assets in the Mountain Lakes region to create economic opportunity and sustainably grow tourism within the region.

“Come through our counties, find things to do here, and maybe their final destination is the
Mon Forest, it’s one of the largest natural parks in our area, so we think there may be travelers through here, but it will also just help us create our own story and our own branding for the two-county area,” said Jennifer Bostian, Upshur County Development Authority executive director.

Officials said the goal is to work through a regional approach to develop assets to enhance livability for residents and increase tourism.

The Lewis and Upshur regional collaborative team is composed of community leaders and members of Create Buckhannon, Lewis County First, County Commission, local Economic Development Authorities, Blueprint Communities, the Colonial Arts Center, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.