By Danielle, Executive Director
Abandoned and dilapidated properties are a problem for almost every community in West Virginia. Statistics compiled by the Coalfield Development Corporation last year reveal there are over 500 derelict buildings in McDowell County, 180 discarded residences in Beckley, and in the last ten years, over 400 neglected structures have been demolished in Clarksburg alone. These numbers are astonishing! Most communities realize the abandoned and dilapidated properties cause a slippery slope to reduced property values and tax base, increased crime and drug activity, significant environmental, health, and safety hazards, and more. Towns and cities all over West Virginia are feeling the effects of a dwindling population and do not know how to handle it.
Last year, a group of nonprofit organizations – WV Community Development Hub, WV Brownfields Assistance Center, Coalfield Development Corporation, the Municipal League, and multiple individual communities – joined together as partners to form the Abandoned Properties Coalition (APC). The APC’s goal is to address this pervasive problem plaguing much of West Virginia on a statewide basis rather than on a case-by-case one. The APC is working with state legislators to pass specific legislation to address this problem and working together to remove arbitrary hurdles that make counteracting the epidemic abandoned properties more difficult. The goals of this initiative are to pull together stakeholders wanting to offset the negative effects of abandoned properties and be a unified voice (support organizations plus local municipalities) offering solutions that will have on-the-ground impacts in these communities. This can be achieved by dispersing information and educating communities with abandoned properties, and collaborating with legislators focused on improving policy. These partners realize that communities and legislators need many tools to effectively manage the situation. These tools should not be limited to demolition, the go-to for many town leaders, but also preservation, deconstruction, and adaptive re-use.
PAWV joined the APC to bring our expertise in preservation and adaptive re-use of discarded historic properties. This partnership can build upon PAWV’s own statewide initiative, the West Virginia Endangered Properties Program, which works with communities to build support for and brings new life to neglected historic properties. Moreover, PAWV plans to advocate against any impending demolitions of National Register properties by reaching out to the WV State Historic Preservation Office, Certified Local Governments, and Landmarks Commissions.
It is our belief that the preservation and re-use of our historic built environment are essential tools to prevent the perpetuating problems initiated by decaying structures and derelict properties. Preservation can reinvigorate a sense of community, and it is proven to increase property values and the tax base. As your statewide advocate for historic preservation, PAWV, in partnership with the APC, promises to continue our efforts to preserve and protect West Virginia’s heritage.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is currently accepting proposals for its statewide historic preservation conference scheduled for 25-27 September 2014 in Huntington, WV. This year’s conference theme is “From the Ground Up: Archaeology, Brownfield Re-use, & Historic Preservation”. Conference proposals should relate to the theme of archaeology with an additional focus on how archaeology has been used in brownfield re-use and historic preservation projects. Proposals will also be accepted for conference tracks: preservation policy, heritage development, and preservation skills.
In order to have a successful conference we would like to ask those in the preservation field and the general public to propose speakers, facilitators, educators, and more for this year’s event. The conference tracks include: Preservation planning and policy; heritage development and tourism; and Preservation trade skills and methodology. We are looking for knowledgeable professionals willing to lead one or more of the following:
For more information on each of these positions, necessary qualifications, and applications, please see the guidelines below. PAWV will begin reviewing applications on 28 March 2014 and will continue to accept application until all conference programming has been selected.
Submit proposals, preferably via email, to email@example.com and/or 3 hard copies to:
421 Davis Avenue
Elkins, WV 26241
For more information, please contact PAWV at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-345-6005.
This RFP does not indicate any promise to follow through and implement any proposals. We reserve the right to select different trainers for different workshops. PAWV staff will organize and direct the workshops and will have final approval of content.
Volunteer presenters are encouraged. Honorarium may be available for some presentations and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Conference fees at a discounted volunteer rate apply to speakers and trainers wishing to participate in special activities, including the historic preservation awards banquet and luncheon.
Proposal Application Requirements:
Preservation professionals interested in providing preservation training for any of the above formats — speakers, workshops, educational sessions, roundtables, panel discussions, and/or educational tours should submit a proposal including:
Three Conference Tracks:
Conference attendees can choose to attend workshops and educational sessions related to three conference tracks, which focus on specific themes common in historic preservation projects and development. By featuring three different tracks, conference attendees can choose the topic that best reflects their interests and gain the most from their experience. Attendees will have the choice of Thursday workshops/tours reflective of track themes, as well as Friday and Saturday concurrent educational sessions. Proposals should be related to one of the following tracks.
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers are currently seeking presentation proposals to fill limited slots for the 2014 WV Brownfields Conference in Huntington, WV on September 11-12.
Example presentation topics include:
The WV Brownfields Conference anticipates presentation formats to include expert panels, interactive workshops, and technical training.
To submit your presentation proposal, download this proposal form, enter your information, save it, and email to email@example.com by March 3, 2014. Scanned copies are also acceptable.
North, South, East, or West there is a Main Street or On TRAC community near you! Each of these locations offers a unique small town experience. Never has the phrase ‘So much to do and so much to see’ been more aptly applied. I can only cover a handful of the highlights of these quintessential West Virginia towns, but there’s plenty more of them to explore!
The Charleston East End Main Street website features a list of the funkiest and most popular bars and eateries around. Afterwards, you walk it off on a self-guided tour of the district. Further north, you can drive into Fairmont via the Million Dollar Bridge. Spanning the Monongahela River, this route frames the townscape against the rolling hills. Once in the historic Downtown District, you can enjoy the seamless blend of revival styles ranging from Beaux Arts to Colonial to Italian Renaissance and Neo-Classical Revival. After stopping in Fairmont, continue on scenic Route 250 to Mannington and enjoy the Historic Home Tour or visit the Miniature Railroad Museum. In the Eastern Panhandle, Martinsburg boasts blocks upon blocks of local small businesses, ideal for a day of shopping.
Another possibility is a trip to Wheeling and West Virginia’s Independence Hall via the nation’s first roadway, historic U.S. Route 40. Or take a ride around the Potomac Highlands on one of the Mountain Rail Adventures departing from Elkin’s historic rail depot or from nearby Durbin. Another possible outing is to Sutton, where you can step in to history. This town is a part of three trails promoted by the state’s tourism bureau – The Historic Theatre Trail, Civil War Trail, and the Historic New Deal/CCC Trail. All of these trails will be featured in later Excuse for an Excursion postings.
Why just visit either Main Streets or On TRAC communities? These towns are bundled all around the state, and traveling from one town to the next makes for a great day trip! And each of these locations has events scheduled year-round so be sure to look-up upcoming events when planning your visit.
So stopping making excuses to stay at home this weekend, instead make an excuse for an excursion!
Looking for an engaging and uncomplicated weekend trip around West Virginia? The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is here to provide you with the simple solution. PAWV’s new blog series, Excuse for an Excursion, is filled with suggestions of easy ways to explore West Virginia’s built heritage and enjoy successful preservation efforts around the state.
Each month there will be a new theme and suggested itineraries of how to fit in all the fun and culture West Virginia has to offer. The posts cover a wide range of interests – Main Streets communities to historic springs, churches to railroads – there’s something for everyone! So stop justifying reasons to stay home, and make an excuse for an excursion around wild and wonderful West Virginia!
Hello everyone, my name is Caitlin Hucik and I am serving with PreserveWV Americorps at Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale, WV. My family roots lie in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. I am lucky enough to have been raised in two communities with rich history-Weirton, WV and Windber, PA. From a very early age, I have been exposed to history -the perks of being a teacher’s daughter I suppose. So, working in a museum seems like second nature to me.
I received a Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in public history from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and also spent time studying abroad on Semester at Sea through the University of Virginia. Before moving to the Wheeling area, I worked at numerous museums in Johnstown and Somerset, PA. My passions in life are travel, women’s history, and saving historic places so when I learned about PAWV’s AmeriCorps position I did not hesitate to apply. Being able to return to my home state and share a piece of its history is a best-case scenario.
The Cockayne Farmstead, originally called Glendale Farm, is a circa 1850 farm house. The Cockayne family came to West Virginia in the 1790’s and built a prosperous sheep farm by the 1890’s. Their American Marino sheep where sold as far away as Australia and their wool won a bronze medal at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876. The family was influential locally as well; the Cockayne women were talented musicians and artists while the Cockayne men ran for political office and contributed to the commerce of Marshall County. Their stories combine to create a colorful history, one which I am privileged to learn and share with others.
My goals for this year are to build the volunteer base at Cockayne, organize and repair over 12,000 primary documents, and create the first temporary exhibit focusing on the Cockayne women. I am thrilled to be serving at such an interesting site and I look forward to the rest of my year here.
This service initiative is administered by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the statewide grassroots nonprofit dedicated to the support and promotion of historic preservation in the Mountain State. The PreserveWV AmeriCorps members develop and participate in a variety of community projects related to historic resource improvement, historic preservation, heritage tourism development, and nonprofit organizational capacity building. For more information, visit www.pawv.org. PreserveWV AmeriCorps is funded in part by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, and by the Commission for National and Community Service.
Purchase one for yourself, and send one as a gift! The cost of the booklet is $10 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling.
There are two ways to purchase the booklet:
Join Main Street Morgantown at Barnes & Noble (3000 University Town Centre Dr.) from Friday, December 13 – Sunday, December 15 for the Barnes & Noble Bookfair Supporting Main Street Morgantown. For every customer that mentions Main Street Morgantown’s name prior to making a purchase during these days, Barnes & Noble will donate 20% of the proceeds to MSM.
At 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, December 14th, Main Street Morgantown has arranged for Lynn Stasick, PAWV Statewide Field Services Representative, to host a preservation talk at Barnes & Noble. The talk will give a brief overview of preservation related topics, followed by a Q & A. Lynn has created a list of his favorite preservation books, including A Field Guide to American Houses, Old House Dictionary: An Illustrated Guide to American Domestic Architecture 1600-1940, Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practices, and Nearby History, Exploring the Past Around You, which will be available for purchase at Barnes & Noble during the event.
Lynn works with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia to provide on-site assistance with needs assessment, redevelopment, sustainability plan creation, funding source identification, and preservation project grant-writing assistance. For more information about Lynn and his preservation activities, please visit PAWV’s website http://www.pawv.org/newhire.htm.
MSM, Monongalia Arts Center, Barnes & Noble, and PBS have also partnered to provide an array of other events throughout the three day event. These events will encompass activities focusing on topics including Downtown Abbey, historic preservation, poetry, prose, and a children’s art activity.
Main Street Morgantown, a tax exempt not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to the betterment of Morgantown’s Downtown and Wharf Districts through thoughtful revitalization. MSM focuses on creation of a safe and welcoming physical design in the district; active recruitment, retention and promotion of the district; preservation of local history through architecture and design in the district; and achievement of a vibrant and successful business community through partnership with local stakeholders, both public and private. For more information please visit our website or Facebook at http://www.downtownmorgantown.com or http://www.facebook.com/mainstreetmorgantown.
I have experience in digital marketing, event planning, archaeology, volunteer management, copy editing, and web content development. Ultimately, my goal is to pursue a master’s degree in cultural resource management.
I am thrilled to be serving at Main Street Morgantown (MSM), the most decorated Main Street in West Virginia. MSM won the Great American Main Street Award in 1998 and has won over 80 individual, committee and project State awards in the past 23 years. In addition to helping with Small Business Day, Chocolate Lovers’ Day, MedExpress Kids’ Day, Art is Food, Arts Walk, and the many other events MSM hosts in Downtown Morgantown and the Historic Wharf District, I will be dedicating a lot of my time to revamping and marketing the Historic Downtown Morgantown Audio Walking Tour and establishing the Downtown and Historic Wharf Districts as a cultural district. Overall, I can’t wait to learn more about wild and wonderful West Virginia and the beautifully historic town of Morgantown.
This service initiative is administered by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the statewide grassroots nonprofit dedicated to the support and promotion of historic preservation in the Mountain State. The PreserveWV AmeriCorps members develop and participate in a variety of community projects related to historic resource improvement, historic preservation, heritage tourism development, and nonprofit organizational capacity building. For more information, visit www.pawv.org. Preserve WV AmeriCorps is funded in part by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, and by the Commission for National and Community Service.
PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF WEST VIRGINIA JOINS THE NATIONAL #GIVINGTUESDAY MOVEMENT TO ENCOURAGE SPENDING WITH A PURPOSE
Taking place December 3, 2013 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.
PAWV joined #GivingTuesday because we want to celebrate all the nonprofit organizations devoted to bettering our communities, our state, our nation, and our world. We want to recognize the efforts not only of our dedicated staff, AmeriCorps members, and Board of Directors, but also the efforts of all the volunteers and staff working to preserve our heritage and re-use it to improve the places we live. We believe one of the best ways to do this is by joining this national initiative.
Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by the 92nd Street Y, came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. Thought leaders in philanthropy, social media and grassroots organizing joined with 92nd Street Y to explore what is working in modern philanthropy and how to expand these innovations throughout the philanthropic sector. The concept gained steam, and bybringing together a group of founding partners — including the United Nations Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Mashable,and Venture Three Capital — a nationwide series of discussions about how to make #GivingTuesday a success is already underway.
#GivingTuesday is a counternarrative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday because it reminds us that the spirit of the holiday giving season should be about community and not just consumerism,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends, and neighbors is the commitment to work together to help build a better world.”
For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org)
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