Published first on the Progress News, December 20, 2021

The River Roots Community Farm, at the A-C Valley School District campus in Foxburg, has a bright future!
Congressman Glen Thompson visits Emlenton Borough and surrounding area with a, “How Can I Help” attitude.

It’s nice sometimes – especially when things feel overwhelming and hectic or when the pace of progress feels too slow, or both at the same time! – to stop, look around, and appreciate everything that has been accomplished so far. It always manages to give a bit of perspective on how things are moving along.

The ORA’s dedicated Redevelopment department itself was brand new when I first started writing Redevelopment Works in late 2020. Since then, we’ve managed to strengthen ties with partners from the Blueprint Initiative, such as the AC Valley School District and Valley-focused community groups, and keep local projects moving. We’ve also grown significantly over the last 15 months, adding more partners and programs, so that we are now part of a truly regional coalition. I’m so proud of all of the work going on in and around the Oil Heritage Region by dedicated volunteers, community organizations, local and regional government, and private businesses. I’m especially proud to see the level of engagement of private individuals within our communities who are stepping up and putting in the work to create new opportunities and amenities for their neighbors. Momentum continues to build as we are bolstered by each other’s experiences, and I, for one, look forward to 2022!