In July 2020, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) began working to provide comprehensive capacity building services through the federal Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) to six recipient organizations located in rural and/or economically challenged regions of Virginia.
The RCDI program seeks to increase a community’s readiness to undertake community and economic development projects through technical assistance from DHCD staff and consultants, while addressing organizational, economic and design improvements within each recipient community. The capacity building program also provides a funding opportunity to help recipients implement activities that align with the community’s strategic planning goals, which are developed and made clear through the RCDI program.
The South Hill Chamber of Commerce (SHCC), one of six RCDI recipients across the state, received an RCDI grant, totaling $30,000, from DHCD to fund the creation of an attractive community garden and a comprehensive design plan that will enhance the overall physical environment of South Hill’s historic downtown commercial district and promote a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere for residents and visitors alike!
The project will, specifically, accomplish the following:
- Strengthen collaboration between community partners and key stakeholders;
- Identify strategic short- and long-term physical improvements for future development and investment to support the community’s shared vision and people-centered transformation goals;
- Improve the historic commercial district’s build environment, infrastructure that facilitates the flow of people, public spaces that serve as gathering spots and other area that attract people downtown; and
- Create a community garden that’s beneficial to the environment and to the health and wellbeing of community members by providing greater access to nutritious food and social activities.
As this exciting project progresses, stay tuned for additional updates!
Image Credit: Twin Cedar Images / Visit Mecklenburg County VA