Fayetteville selected for National Planning Assistance Program

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve(WVVA News)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:37 AM EDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) - Fayetteville has been selected as one of 25 towns nationwide to receive planning assistance through the federal Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Northern Border Regional Commission according to a release from the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.

A team of consultants and federal and state partners will help the community develop an action plan to maintain Fayetteville’s “authentic, local character while improving walkable infrastructure, expanding housing and lodging opportunities, and connecting it to the New River Gorge.

“The Town of Fayetteville within the New River Gorge area is a perfect example of a recreational economy in a rural community,” said Mayor Sharon Cruikshanks. “We are so excited to host this meeting in our Town and would like to encourage the entire community to come out and be heard.”

The planning process will unfold over the coming months, with a two-day facilitated community workshop as the focal point. The workshop will take place June 6-7 at the American Legion. Participants will collaborate to develop goals and specific actions to strengthen Fayetteville’s outdoor recreation opportunities and community amenities. All community members are invited to attend both days. Look for pre-workshop information at Town Hall at 125 N. Court Street and on the Town’s Facebook Page. Interested citizens can register to attend the free community planning event at: https://bit.ly/RERC-Fayetteville.

The discussion of the town hall will include topics such as maintaining Fayetteville’s authenticity; improving connections for safe walking and biking; improving wayfinding and signs to direct people to outdoor recreation and downtown amenities; and improving infrastructure like community spaces, parking, public restroom facilities, visitor lodging, and housing.

Councilman Gabe Pena said, “The Town of Fayetteville has work to do to build the kind of infrastructure and amenities that will help us capitalize on the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve while maintaining the unique sense of place that makes our small town an awesome place to live. Partnering with the EPA under their Recreation Economies for Rural Communities will help citizens to articulate the changes we want to see in our town and plan for an outdoor recreation community that is inclusive and accessible for all visitors and residents of Fayetteville.”

The local host committee for the workshop includes representatives from the Town of Fayetteville, the Fayette Trail Coalition, the Love Hope Center for the Arts, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, local residents, local businesses, and others.

Those with questions should contact Matt Diederich at matt@fayettevillewv.gov or (304) 574-0101.

For more information on the RERC program: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/recreation-economy-rural-communities