SNP receives funds for preservation initiatives

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund provided enhancements to a beloved route managed by the National Park Service.

Over 18 months and with a budget of $15 million, the Skyline Drive preservation initiative revitalized 56 miles and 19 scenic overlooks along this renowned national historic landmark and scenic byway traversing
the Blue Ridge Mountains within Shenandoah National Park.

The GAOA allocates $1.2 million for a park endeavor aimed at dismantling outdated structures and reinstating natural conditions in the Big Meadows area, recognized as a national historic landmark district, along with the Loft Mountain Campground.

Springtime travelers are in for safer and smoother journeys through the breathtaking vistas of  Shenandoah National Park.

Thanks to the Skyline Drive project, distressed pavement has been
restored, shoulders stabilized, pavement and road markings enhanced, and road surfaces treated to fortify structural integrity and prolong road life.

In addition, obsolete or deteriorating structures and facilities in Big Meadows and Loft Mountain Campground have been dismantled.

This includes office buildings, outdated housing, a comfort station, parking areas, picnic sites, and sections of the H-loop road and
campsites, totaling approximately $3 million in deferred maintenance savings.

The final phase of the project involves restoring natural vegetation in these areas, promising visitors a more harmonious landscape.

GAOA stands as a crucial component of a larger initiative to address the extensive backlog of deferred maintenance and repair needs across national parks.

With revenue sourced from energy development, GAOA grants the National Park Service up to $1.3 billion annually for five
years.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces $2.9 million in small business and historic revitalization grants

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $2.9 million in grants for 45 projects across the Commonwealth.

The funded projects will revitalize historic commercial districts, expand small businesses and grow local economies.

Some local communities are recipients of the grants including Downtown Front Royal which will receive $15,000 towards Organizational Structure.

The City of Winchester will receive $20,000 for nonprofit restructuring.

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance was one of the largest beneficiaries receiving $100,000 for their Bricks and Clicks program.

In total, the projects will support nearly 650 business, create or expand another 53 businesses, train 140 entrepreneurs, provide 112 improvement projects, and leverage close to a million dollars in private investment.

To view the Governor’s announcement including additional information on the projects, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Page County and others benefit from ABC grants

page county election coverage

A news release from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority announced grant recipients for 2022-23.

Ten Community Organizations across the state were awarded grants from the Virginia ABC  Authority education and prevention grant  program.

The grants support programs that educate and strive to prevent or reduce underage and high risk drinking.

Some of the organizations that will share over $83,000 in grant money includes Page Alliance for Community Action receiving $9,000 to launch weekly seminars at Luray and Page County High Schools to educate youth about the harmful effects of alcohol and other substances through seminars and zooms on the subject.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will receive almost $10,000 to fund a series of alcohol free recreation and health themed events.

Almost $3,000  has been granted to assist Radford University students who wish to remain alcohol free hold free events.

James Madison University will receive almost $8,000 to help prevent incidents involving over indulgent house parties on campus.

Several other groups across the state have received a portion of the funds in efforts to prevent alcohol related incidents of alcohol abuse.

To find out more about these grant programs click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Receives $10,000 Healing the Planet Grant

WINCHESTER, VA – To help improve the health of our local waterways, the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WFCCVB) announced today it is the recipient of a $10,000 Healing the Planet grant from The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

The WFCCVB will be using the grant funds to remove invasive plant species and landscape the hillside between the Visitor Center and Abram’s Pond. The hillside has become thickly overgrown with invasive plants and trees since the Visitor Center was built around 2007. The goal of the landscaping project is three-fold. First, it will improve watershed management for Rouss Spring, which feeds Wilkins Lake, Abrams Run and eventually Opequon Creek. Second, it will be planted with strictly native grasses, shrubs, and trees to improve the biodiversity of the area. Finally, a variety of native flowering perennials will also be planted to create a healthy pollinator habitat. The Visitor Center has partnered with Shenandoah University and Dr. Iara Lacher from Seven Bends Nursery to craft and implement a multi-year plan to clear the hillside, prep it, and plant a variety of minimum-maintenance native plants.

“We are very thankful to receive this grant, which will allow us to be increasingly better stewards of the land by the Visitor Center,” said Justin Kerns, Executive Director of the WFCCVB. “There is a great opportunity for us, being in an especially visible location to both locals and visitors from around the country, to showcase the beauty of our native flora and educate members of the public who come here.”

More than $300,000 in funding was awarded by The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in support of projects that aimed at improving the health and quality of waterways to help protect water resources and improve the overall health of communities. Eligible projects included stream health and water quality monitoring activities, marine debris removal, storm water/MS4 education initiatives, lake/pond ecology, watershed education activities, watershed landscape measures, rain gardens, streambank restoration, erosion control, AMD remediation, rain barrels, pollution abatement and source water protection. Funding for the grants was provided by customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S, and GIANT Heirloom Market stores who agreed to round up their grocery purchase to the nearest dollar from March through May.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Berryville offers funds for housing assistance

Berryville announced through an email that it’s implementation plan for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will provide funds for housing.

A $40,000 grant will provide non-profit organizations the opportunity to deliver housing assistance to low income homeowners.

Berryville will take applications from organizations looking to improve owner occupied housing through Feb. 24.

Specific questions about the funds and applications must be submitted by Feb. 8.

Applications and additional information is available at berryvilleva.gov.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.   

VA.’s Small Business Resiliency Fund includes Fred., Clarke and Page Counties

An email from Governor Northam announced the launching of the Small Business Resiliency Fund allocating almost $10 million in grants for 12 projects across the state.

The funds are expected to expand access to capital and provide technical assistance.

These grants are meant for COVID-19 impacted small businesses.

$700,000 of the funds are for projects in Frederick Co. and the town of Shenandoah and Warrenton.

Over $589,000 has been allocated for Clarke and Page Counties as well according to the email.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here. 

Governor Northam Announces More Than $2.5 Million in Appalachian Regional Commission Grants for Virginia Communities  

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia will receive more than $2.5 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The funding will support broadband infrastructure expansion, workforce development, and job growth efforts through economic development initiatives.   “As our economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical to invest in Appalachia,” said Governor Northam, ARC Co-Chair. “ARC’s POWER initiative will continue to build on the region’s strengths and address its challenges, driving growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia. These projects demonstrate how regional collaboration can spur innovation, encourage entrepreneurs, diversify our economy, and support the critical infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide, all of which strengthen Appalachian communities.”  
In February, Governor Northam was elected by Appalachia’s 13 governors to serve as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s states’ co-chair for 2021. The ARC POWER Initiative is a congressionally funded program that helps communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. $46.4 million in funding for 57 projects across 184 counties was made possible by the POWER initiative as part of the efforts to support economic diversification in the Appalachian region.
  “Ensuring Appalachian residents and businesses have resources to create thriving and robust communities has been a top priority for this administration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This funding will foster employment opportunities, critical infrastructure improvements, and broadband expansion, helping to build a stronger and more resilient economy in the Appalachian region.
  “The downturn of the coal industry has impacted economies across Appalachia. That’s why ARC’s POWER initiative helps to leverage regional partnerships and collaborations to support efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Many of the projects we announced today will invest in educating and training the Appalachian workforce, nurturing entrepreneurship, and supporting infrastructure—including broadband access. These investments in our Appalachian coal-impacted communities are critical in leveling the economic playing field so our communities can thrive.”  
2021 ARC POWER Virginia Awardees:   Buchanan/Tazewell Wireless Communication Job Growth Corridor | Virginia Coalfield Coalition | $1,000,000 The Virginia Coalfield Coalition will build six new, fiber-lit cell towers along a 20-mile stretch off U.S. Route 460. A public-private partnership with a national wireless service ensures the coverage provided by these new cell towers will fill the current service gaps. The project is expected to serve 25 existing businesses and facilitate business retention and recruitment at industrial parks in the region.   Central Appalachian CDC: Bringing Community Development Investment to Coal-Impacted Communities | Appalachian Community Capital | $1,500,000 Appalachian Community Capital and its partners will create high-quality community development and entrepreneurial opportunities by helping communities and businesses access new sources of capital. Serving five central Appalachian states (North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia), the project will provide 40 coal-impacted communities with technical assistance, guidance, and outreach support. This will lead to a portfolio of investments that provide sufficient financial and social returns. Financial support for the project will be provided by the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Dogwood Health Trust, Goldman Sachs, and Ohio SE Economic Development Financial. The project is expected to create 15 businesses and 3,000 jobs, while also leveraging $400 million in private investment.  
Project Trace | LENOWISCO Planning District | $49,875 The LENOWISCO Planning District, in partnership with Invest SWVA, will determine the feasibility of adapting or creating an ag-tech tool to track and report food miles of specialty grains grown in Southwest Virginia. This tool will help capture the value that Southwest Virginia grains add to the industry, increasing grain market opportunities for area farmers and driving additional revenue.

LFCC and UWNSV offer Grants for students

luray-page county center

Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) and the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (UWNSV) are offering grants.

These grants are to help students offset critical personal needs.

The helping hand emergency scholarship fund is for students facing immediate or emergency needs to help prevent students from having to quit school.

For information on the grants visit unitedwaynsv.org.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.