Downtown Parsons in Tucker County, WV. Photo by Joe Flood via Flickr.
Tucker County, WV is a rural community known for its abundant natural beauty and historic downtowns. Now, staff from the county, townships, state agencies, and federal programs are working together to plan for Tucker County’s long-term economic growth.
To help begin to articulate a vision for county planning in a regional context, Smart Growth America held a Regional Planning for Small Communities workshop with the Tucker County Planning Commission on May 27 and 28, 2015 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program.
“This technical assistance will help Tucker County residents direct future business growth in a way that works for them,” said Anne Jones, Executive Director of Economic Development in Tucker County.
Tucker County-area residents joined the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that shared strategies on how Tucker County can plan for region-wide smart growth. The workshop’s second day brought together an invited group of representatives from the Tucker County Planning Commission, the Tucker County Economic Development Authority, local government, area non-profits, and interested local business owners and residents. The invited group explored more in-depth information and participated in facilitated brainstorming sessions to identify how the communities within Tucker County can work together to harness growth and development without sacrificing the region’s character.
Tucker County was one of 14 communities nationwide selected to receive one of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops. Stretching from Florida to Washington State, these 14 communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike. The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Two other nonprofit organizations—Project for Public Spaces and Global Green—currently have active grants under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.
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