The 4th Annual Farming in the Valley Festival, sponsored by the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, will take place on Sunday, October 11th, from 12-5pm, at Creative Works Farm in Waynesboro. The Fields of Gold agritourism program will have a booth at the event to promote the Shenandoah Valley Farm Trail. Visitors can look forward to a day full of farm fun, a corn maze, pumpkin painting, hands on learning for families, a petting zoo, a Lowes Build and Grow workshop, pony rides, local produce and products and more! Click HERE for more information and tickets.
During September and October, Shenandoah Valley Project Impact will be circulating a survey aimed at determining how prepared the citizens of the Central Shenandoah Valley are for emergencies, severe weather and disasters. The public is encouraged to complete the short survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/iamprepared.
The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission published its annual report "A Year in Review" this month. The report highlights the CSPDC programs, projects and events that occurred over the past year. View the report HERE.
GO Virginia, a campaign initiated by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council (VBHEC) and the Council on Virginia's Future launched in September. The new program is incentive-based and voluntary, and is intended to help generate private-sector growth and job opportunities in every part of the Commonwealth.
GO Virginia has identified innovation, investment, improvement, invention and infrastructure as five key ways that state-funded incentives can have a significant positive impact on private-sector growth. The GO Virginia coalition is comprised of business and community leaders, partners in education and government, and interested Virginians from across the Commonwealth who support regional cooperation on private-sector growth, job creation, and career readiness. Learn more and join the coalition at www.govirginia.org.
The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) adopted the Transit Development Plan (TDP) at their August 17, 2015 Annual Meeting. The TDP is a short-range plan that outlines the transit improvements intended during a six-year planning horizon; estimates what resources will be needed; and identifies potential funding options. The development of the CSPDC's TDP has been guided by a working group made up of representatives fromStaunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, along with public and private transit partners. Additionally, significant input to the TDP was sought through rider surveys and stakeholder interviews.
A primary focus of the projects included in the TDP is the development of a combined urban-rural system that ties together current services operating in the Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro region. The program will lay the foundation for future growth as community awareness increases, ridership increases, and additional transit partners are obtained. Modest service improvements are included within the plan, based on currently available funding resources. These include launch of unified brand called BRITE, the formation of a Transit Advisory Committee (TAC), consolidated transit funding under the CSPDC, and improvements to the Route 250 Connector, the Silver Trolley route in Staunton and the Waynesboro Circulator route.
The formation of a Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) is a key aspect of the TDP. The TAC will be tasked with making recommendations to the CSPDC regarding operations of the transit system; supporting the delivery of public transportation to citizens and visitors in the service area; engaging in planning and community outreach activities; and reporting TAC activities to their respective locality or organization.
The adopted TDP will be forwarded to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation as the six year plan for transit in this area, and will serve as the basis for near-term funding requests.
Central Shenandoah Planning District Executive Director, Bonnie Riedesel, presented Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe with a harvest box of Fields of Gold Farm Trail products. Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore was given a framed photo of a Rockbridge County landscape depicting the region's beauty and the importance of farming in the Fields of Gold region. Ms. Riedesel presented the items to the Governor and Secretary following the Shenandoah Valley Partnership's (SVP) Annual Meeting held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center on July 22, 2015. The harvest box contained locally grown and produced items from each of the eight counties that participate in Fields of Gold - Shenandoah Valley's Farm Trail.
The Governor was the keynote speaker at the meeting, which showcased SVP's accomplishments in promoting and attracting business to the Valley. Gov. McAuliffe talked about recent agricultural expansions, growth in the state wine and craft beer industries, increased tourism, and the urgency of job creation as the Commonwealth's economy experiences significant changes in the coming years.
For more information about the Fields of Gold program, contact Tracey Coltrain, email@example.com (540) 885-5174 or visit www.fieldsofgold.org.
Enjoy the Insider Newsletter! Stay in the know regarding what is happening on the Fields of Gold Farm Trail. Please click HERE for the newsletter.
Around the Region, the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission's monthly newsletter is available HERE.