The Allegheny-Clarion River Valley (A-C Valley) Blueprint Community is a community redevelopment and resilience initiative started in 2014 with funding and direction from FHLBank Pittsburgh and the PA Downtown Center and the dedication and drive of local residents.
2020 marks the beginning of the second phase of the A-C Valley Blueprint Community program, and we have joined forces with the Oil Region Alliance, our regional rural redevelopment hub, to strengthen our resource base and facilitate beneficial impact on our community.
The last year was spent refocusing our efforts as well as planning and implementing projects such as the 2019 Winter Prep Party, a community-wide day of volunteerism, environmental stewardship, and goodwill, and the A-C Valley School Farm, a private-public partnership community farm hosted on the grounds of our local school district, as well as the 2020 Blueprint Banner Competition. Thanks to COVID19, this year has gotten off to a rocky start, and the initial construction of the school farm is on hold, as well as installation of the new banners, a benefit concert, naturefest event, public mural project, and martial arts classes for local youth.
However, this unexpected pause has allowed us to take a breath, and take stock of where we are, how far we’ve come, and what we still need to get to where we want to be. While we are pleased with our progress, one thing has become painfully clear: we need money. We have plans for ways to strengthen our local economy and become financially self-sufficient as an organization, but we have more plans than funding and we are currently bootstrapping our way to community resilience. Not the quickest way to go!
So, we are asking you, our community, for your help. In these lean times, we are not asking anyone to give away what they don’t have, but even small donations – $10, $5, $1 – have a way of adding up. If you have more to give, there has never been a better time to be a significant contributor to this movement to come together and increase the resilience of our local community.
We have a simple mission: restore hope and opportunity in the A-C Valley. Hidden in this simple mission, though, is all of the complexity of a prosperous, vital, and resilient community. While we are lucky to enjoy breathtaking natural beauty, we must still work hard to develop a robust local economy that celebrates local resources and provides entrepreneurship opportunities and family-sustaining jobs while meeting the needs of local residents, and a vibrant local culture that is enthusiastic about our unique history, welcoming of new ideas and traditions, and supportive of the needs, desires, and passions of every individual.
It all starts with a seed. We want to do for ourselves, and we can all be part of this new growth, this path forward. Little by little, with our seeds of time, ideas, or spare change, we can grow the future we want for ourselves, our families, and our community.