Kickoff held for Mon Forest Towns program

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A virtual kickoff event was held Thursday morning for the HubCAP Mon Forest Towns program.

Fifty participants joined the virtual event in support of the 6 communities who are taking part in HubCAP Mon Forest Towns. Photo courtesy WV Community Development Hub.

Those who attended the kickoff discussed the two-year community and economic development program that is set to take place in the six Mon Forest Towns: Cowen, Elkins, Franklin, Marlinton, Petersburg, and White Sulphur Springs.

The HubCAP program offers participating communities what it calls “a time-tested curriculum to accelerate community-led economic development.” So far, 21 West Virginia communities have graduated from the program.

WV Community Development Hub Director of Community Engagement Amanda Workman-Scott said, “With this new round of HubCAP and the six participating communities, The Hub team is combining our efforts with the momentum for building recreational tourism economies happening as a result of the Mon Forest Towns Partnership. We are excited to work alongside the West Virginians who are taking part in this program.”

Downtown development will be a central focus of residents participating in HubCAP, and projects such as Elkins, West Virginia’s new public amphitheater will be featured as assets in the work. Photo courtesy WV Community Development Hub.
Residents in Petersburg, West Virginia recently celebrated new wayfinding signage in their community, created as part of their participation in the Mon Forest Towns Partnership. Photo courtesy WV Community Development Hub.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to hear from members from the participating HubCAP community teams; learn about the recreational economy initiatives happening today in these communities; and hear from special guests, including local leaders from participating communities, regional and national funders, community and economic development leaders, and others.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito offered encouragement for the participating West Virginians. Representatives from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Mon Forest Towns Partnership, One Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, West Virginia Development Office, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s Office, West Virginia University, and others participated in the event.

Historic alleys in Cowen are being surveyed now with the intention of turning them into walking trails for residents and tourists. Photo by Daniel Raines.

To be a part of HubCAP Mon Forest Towns, please contact the WV Community Development Hub’s Director of Community Engagement Amanda Workman-Scott at a.workman@wvhub.org.

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