Local Leaders Meet to Discuss Southwest Virginia
When most people think Virginia, they think of Washington D.C., or maybe Richmond. It's easy to see why; that's where the bulk of Virginia's population centers are, with most of the people in the state from that area. But what about the other side of the state, down in Southwest Virginia? While the population centers may not be nearly as large, Southwest Virginia has its own quirks and charms that separate it from the rest of the state.
It's those quirks and charms that the Friends of Southwest Virginia team are focusing on for their ongoing campaign to reinvent and revitalize Southwest Virginia's economy in the coming years. Their efforts have been fruitful in the past, slowly but surely working to change our area into an economic powerhouse. Of course, there are challenges associated with an undertaking this big; some counties in Southwest Virginia still don't have a concrete plan for their long term economic future, and the Friends of Southwest Virginia team is still trying to make leeway in connecting with those counties to work on their own projects.
The Town of Pulaski met with the Friends of Southwest Virginia team yesterday at the Pulaski Train Station, to discuss changes occurring within Pulaski, as well as the surrounding area. Along with officials from the Town of Pulaski and Pulaski County, leaders from Radford also attended the meeting. Most of the meeting consisted of an introduction to the team and the multiple projects and operations that are currently being worked on, as well as a few that are yet to come.
A big opportunity that their team has identified is our region's abundance of outdoor recreation activities. With Southwest Virginia being a largely rural area, there are a multitude of locations and activities already available that take advantage of the space. Speaking from personal experience, outdoor recreation is a staple of many communities in Southwest Virginia, from fishing and camping to hiking and outdoor sports. If our communities can figure out ways to intertwine their commerce with their outdoor locations and activities, it could open up a huge market of people looking for new things to do when the weather is nice.
Along with outdoor recreation, another avenue of change the team is hopeful to continue with is food. The culinary background of Southwest Virginia is much more robust than many people realize; sure, we have Southern comfort food in spades, but there's another side to our cuisine. One area that the team is looking to expand upon is Virginia's wine market. The land in Southwest Virginia is great for crops, and grapes are no different. The wine industry is a very lucrative one, so if they can establish a presence for them here we could see positive changes in not only our commerce, but also in the natural health and beauty of our farmlands.
The Friends of Southwest Virginia team plans to host a dozen other meetings around our area over the next two weeks, continuing their campaign to improve our wonderful home. If you want to find out more about their team and the plans they have you can visit their website here. Alternatively, for an overview on everything there is to do in Southwest Virginia you can check out the Visit Southwest Virginia website.