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River Roots Redevelopment:


Since 2014, the Blueprint Initiative has been the catalyst for projects throughout the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region (ACRVR). The Blueprint Core Team and subcommittees focused on 4 main goals in the areas of recreation, business, family, and culture. Over the last nine years, this initiative has evolved and grown, constantly seeking better ways to support the residents, business owners, and community leaders and help revitalize the region.

In 2019 Selina Pedi was appointed as the Blueprint Community Coordinator for the ACRVR Blueprint Initiative, and later Regional Redevelopment Manager. With her knowledge and experience in Community Development, Selina was able to kickstart many programs within the ACRVR and the greater Oil Region. One such program is River Roots Community Farm (Spring update coming next week!).

Now, the ACRVR’s time as a Blueprint Community is coming to a close. In this next chapter, River Roots Redevelopment, an initiative of EUTS Sustainability Services, is picking up where Blueprint left off.

The mission of River Roots is to rebuild hope and opportunity throughout the ACRVR which includes the riverfront towns of Emlenton, Foxburg, and Parker. This geographically-isolated rustbelt community of less than 1500 full-time residents has seen many changes over the last 150 years. Now, a vision of vibrancy is emerging for the future of the ACRVR. 

Three goals of River Roots are:

Reawakening of Entrepreneurship: By leveraging our regional brownfield resources and partnerships, River Roots is committed to remediating and redeveloping our regional brownfield sites into community incubator spaces. This unique opportunity has the potential to create new jobs and job-training pathways in hospitality, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, conservation, green industry, and regenerative agriculture. 

Reawakening of Pride: River Roots has closely cultivated partnerships between local organizations, institutions, and social services providers, laying the groundwork for equitable access to opportunities for a healthier, more fulfilled quality of life and a sense of community ownership for all residents.

Reawakening of Choice: River Roots is focused on improving and supporting outdoor amenity, organizational connectivity, and social support so that residents will no longer stay because they have no way to leave. They will instead choose to put down roots in the Valley because of the availability of purposeful work and beautiful surroundings, the small town warmth, and the many opportunities to create lasting memories with their friends and families. 

Over the next months and years, expect to see more River Roots projects as new partnerships are formed and fresh, innovative opportunities arise. Through these new connections, and by strengthening existing partnerships, community resilience is building, block by block.

If you would like to learn more about River Roots projects, please join me and other community members for a coffee chat at Divani Chocolatier in Foxburg on Fridays from 1-3 P.M.

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Rachel Brosnahan is the Community Engagement Coordinator for River Roots Redevelopment. She can be reached by email at rachel@riverrootsredevelopment.org.


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