E&H Teams Up with Friends of Southwest Virginia to Create Video Series

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
The Friends of Southwest Virginia and Emory & Henry College have teamed up to produce three videos, reflective of outdoor recreation projects that are currently being implemented in Southwest Virginia.

Friends of Southwest Virginia’s outdoor recreation arm, the Appalachian Spring Initiative, started in 2012 with the goal of developing the outdoor recreation industry cluster in Southwest Virginia (SWVA). This project and collaboration, showcasing enhancements to High Knob Recreation Area, Damascus, Haysi and Breaks Interstate Park, gave seven Emory & Henry students the opportunity to explore assets and areas that are right in their backyard.

The students in the Emory & Henry College Advanced Video Production class are from Virginia, as well as surrounding states:
Ashley Bostian - Boone, N.C.
Madisson Gillespie - Salem, Va.
Allison Hamilton - New Castle, Va.
Matthew Largen - Abingdon, Va.
Hannah Long - Rural Retreat, Va.
Desmond Perry - Wytheville, Va.
Tyler Spires - Lancaster, Ohio

“The college is always looking for ways to connect what we learn in the classroom to projects that have an impact on our surrounding community,” said Brent Treash, advanced video production professor at Emory & Henry College. “This video project allowed the students to take the skills they have learned over the semester and create a series of videos that will help showcase the amazing outdoor recreation available in our area.”

“We have enjoyed working with the students over the past four months, enhancing their video production skills and are excited to share their work and stories with the rest of the Commonwealth,” said Chris Cannon, Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and Friends of Southwest Virginia. “As an organization, we are constantly seeking new ways to work with partners to highlight regional initiatives and opportunities in Southwest Virginia. This partnership with Emory & Henry college has been a great example of creative ways we can empower our community and youth.”

The Appalachian Spring POWER project seeks to invest in capital improvements in communities that have fully engaged in the planning process and have strong stakeholder groups. Learn more of the specifics about each project below.

Appalachian Trail Center – Damascus, Va.
Damascus recently received both CDBG and ARC funding to work on downtown revitalization and enhancing outdoor assets within the town. A part of the master plan for downtown Damascus is the construction of a destination center as a focal point for visitors. POWER funds will support the construction of this Appalachian Trail Center that will provide visitors with direction and ideas for the many recreational activities and hospitality offerings available during their stay. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has committed to providing programming and staff for the center once constructed. This partnership that includes the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Mount Rogers Planning District Commission, the town of Damascus, and Friends of Southwest Virginia ensures that this project will be successful and sustainable beyond the ARC funding period.

High Knob – Norton, Va.
High Knob is a land mass that stretches through Wise and Scott Counties and borders the city of Norton with recreation opportunities ranging from hiking and biking to camping and fishing. POWER funding will support the construction of a High Knob destination center at the entrance to High Knob in the city of Norton. This center will serve as a gateway between Norton and High Knob and offer maps and exhibits that highlight the recreation opportunities and ecological wealth of the region. Additionally, funding will go to enhance the existing assets of High Knob Lake and Devi’s Bathtub to make them more accessible and visitor friendly.

Breaks to Haysi Trail – Haysi, Va.
The Town of Haysi has been working through a downtown revitalization process to transform into an outdoor recreation basecamp for the nearby natural assets, including Breaks Interstate Park. Constructing a multi-use trail from Breaks Interstate Park to downtown Haysi, with the help of partners like Spearhead Trails, will better connect the nearly 300,000 annual visitors to Breaks with potential economic impacts in Haysi. The construction of a river front boardwalk in Haysi will also make the community more welcoming to visitors.

The Friends of Southwest Virginia hosted a showcase of the videos on Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 8:30am at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon, Va. for the students, Emory & Henry College staff, partners and media.

About Emory & Henry College
Emory & Hendry College was founded in 1836 and in its more than 181 years has garnered a reputation for being a strong academic institution of national renown. Learn more about Emory & Henry College here.

About Southwest Virginia
Tucked in the mountains of Southwest Virginia is a vibrant culture of music, craft and stunning natural beauty. It’s a region of spectacular views and rich natural resources. Time spent in the region adds up to something much more than a simple getaway. A different side of Virginia. And a great place to visit for a week’s vacation – or to make a home for a lifetime. Authentic. Distinctive. Alive.

About the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and Friends of Southwest Virginia
The Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation is the coordinating body for cultural heritage tourism and economic development efforts fostering Southwest Virginia’s creative economy. Through a supporting non-profit, the Friends of Southwest Virginia, the combined entities help localities, businesses, individuals, artists, nonprofits and entrepreneurs mobilize and succeed.

A multifaceted plan identifies the cultural and natural assets of the region; coordinates initiatives, organizations and venues engaged in cultural and natural heritage toward more efficient operations for all partner organizations; and develops a comprehensive strategy and capital improvements plan to maximize the impact of state investments in this significant restructuring effort.

  • (from L to R) Madisson Gillespie, Desmond Perry, Professor Brent Treash, Hannah Long, Ashley Bost...
    (from L to R) Madisson Gillespie, Desmond Perry, Professor Brent Treash, Hannah Long, Ashley Bostian, Matthew Largen, Allison Hamilton, and Tyler Spires
    Jenna Wagner with Friends of Southwest Virginia

Location:

Heartwood Cir, Abingdon, VA 24210

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