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Building a Vibrant Community – Are you plugged in?

ELKINS — It’s a great time to call Elkins-Randolph County home. When I first moved to Elkins in 2015, I was impressed by the countless individuals and organizations with a shared vision for a vibrant, livable community.

Sure, it’s easy enough to sit back and complain about what’s wrong with our town or to lament which restaurant or retail store we don’t have. One negative Facebook post can inspire a viral avalanche of those in agreement! Today, thanks to a number of community initiatives, it’s just as easy to roll up our sleeves and get involved to make a difference in our town’s economic development, beautification, and recreational options.

Following the Chamber’s Building a Vibrant Community workshop last March, a number of task forces began working to cultivate the many opportunities identified by Quint Studer during his visit, and many Chamber partners continue their efforts to help create that vibrant community.

Elkins Main Street continues to support downtown businesses, contribute to the City’s streetscape design efforts, and develop programs and events to bring people downtown. You can’t walk or drive through town without seeing the impact of Melodee Price and her Elkins Make it Shine volunteers. We are a cleaner, brighter, and more artistic community thanks to their efforts. And we look forward to Tammy Dolly, Doug Starcher and the volunteers of Our Town bringing car shows and outdoor concerts to the Rotary Amphitheater again soon.

More recently, Elkins was selected as a 2020 participant in the WV Community Development Hub Communities of Achievement (HubCAP) Program. Led by Anne Beardslee and the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism CVB, our community will prioritize projects – both new and from those already underway among these and other groups – with an emphasis on tourism and our local recreational economy. Volunteer Task Teams will coordinate each project and leverage local, regional and state resources to accelerate their efforts.

You may have heard about these various projects and wonder how they all fit together. The common link is YOU. We all want to make a difference. These initiatives are just an extension of what any one of us can achieve alone. Perhaps you are already involved. If so, thank you for being a part of making a good community even better. If not, or if you are a part of another group or project making a difference, reach out.

Volunteer today or tell us about your group’s accomplishments.You can begin by contacting the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber at chamber@erccc.com or 304.636.2717.

This article is based on ideas from “Building a Vibrant Community: by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested.

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