Just Announced! The CSPDC has been awarded a $50,000 grant from USDA for the Rural Communities Development Initiative (RCDI). This was a nationally competitive grant with 48 grant awards made in 26 states. The CSPDC project was the only one awarded in Virginia. This grant will provide funding for CSPDC to work with our small rural localities on strategic planning, technical assistance and capacity building to help them become more economically viable and more successful in moving projects and programs forward in their communities.
“These grants will bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of regional organizations to help small and emerging businesses,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “They also will help organizations experienced in economic development create more job opportunities for rural residents across the country.”
Read the entire release HERE and view the 2014 recipients HERE.
On May 16th the new website for the Fields of Gold program went live! This dynamic website brings agritourism opportunities in the Shenandoah Valley to life for residents and visitors alike. The website includes an interactive map of the agricultural businesses, farms and ag venues with search/browse capabilities for Farm Trail trip planning. There are individual profile pages for each of the 170 members that are now part of the Fields of Gold program and an agricultural-related events calendar. A members-only page will soon be available for Fields of Gold members to have access to documents, videos, webinars, and training to help grow their business. Check out the website at www.fieldsofgold.org.
The CSPDC was awarded $25K by the Virginia Environmental Endowment to assist localities with Illicit Discharge
Detection and Elimination (IDDE) education. IDDE is a lesser-known but common source of pollution to local
streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Illicit discharges include any flows to the storm drain system other than
stormwater, and are one of six minimum control measures specified in the Virginia's Municipal Separate Storm
Sewer System (MS4) General Permit. Illicit discharges are a water quality concern because, in most cases, they go into the nearest waterway without any type of treatment, and they can include a wide variety of pollutants that are harmful to aquatic life and human health (e.g., bacteria, nutrients, oil).
To address the need to more effectively identify such discharges to local stormwater systems, the CSPDC will work with the Center for Watershed Protection to provide the following services to the MS4 permitted localities (and other interested localities) in the region:
- IDDE Clinic
- Field Manual & Procedures
- Field Equipment
- On-call Assistance
For more information contact Erin Yancey, Regional Planner,540.885.5174, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Policy Board of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning
Organization (SAW MPO) and invited guests were given presentation and tour of the
Crozet Tunnel after their May 7th meeting. The presentation was by Nelson County Supervisor and
Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation President, Allen Hale. Mr. Hale's presentation focused on the history
of the Tunnel and the status of the project to restore the Tunnel as arails-to-trail project connecting the Piedmont in Nelson County to the Shenandoah Valley in Augusta County near Waynesboro. The Tunnel was built in the 1850's under the direction of French engineer, Claudius Crozet, and abandoned in the 1940's when a new, more
modern tunnel was built to accommodate larger trains. To learn more about the Crozet Tunnel and efforts to restore the Tunnel, please go to the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation website at www.blueridgetunnel.org. The Tunnel is not open to the public at this time.
Virginia's official guide for the planning of public outdoor recreation and land conservation has been revised and is
now available online. The Virginia Outdoors Plan, which is updated every five years, highlights the beautiful natural
resources and historical attractions Virginia has to offer. This is the 10th plan to be produced since the 1965 publication of "Virginia's Common Wealth," the first comprehensive study of Virginia's outdoor recreation facilities and resources. It is the first to be completely paperless, and its publication marks the debut of VOP Mapper, a user-friendly online tool for mapping outdoor recreation resources and conserved lands. This plan's theme is "Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers," and
recommendations focus heavily on expanding tourism opportunities and the economy through outdoor recreation and land conservation.
The section that pertains to the Central Shenandoah region can be found in Chapter 10 - Part 6.
Around the Region, the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission's monthly newsletter is available HERE.