The NRV Livability Initiative was a three-year regional planning process led by the NRV Regional Commission and funded with a $1 million grant from the Federal Partnership of Sustainable Communities. The CFNRV was among many partner organizations that assisted with public engagement during the planning process, ensuring that nonprofit organizations and their clients were actively involved. The Livability report, completed in 2014, captures a vision for the NRV’s future with goals and strategies that businesses, community organizations, local governments, and individuals can use to make this vision a reality.
Following the 2014 report, the NRV Regional Commission and the CFNRV formed the Livability Partnership to implement strategies in the plan, track regional progress, and create a forum for sharing information about projects relevant to the reports four main themes: Enhance Living and Working Environments, Make the Business Environment More Productive and Resilient, Preserve Rural Heritage and Community Character, and Build Healthy Communities.
The partners host the Annual Livability in Action Regional Exchange, an event to highlight projects and spur collaboration across the region. The 7th Annual Exchange on March 11th was a virtual event featuring two lighting rounds of speakers and discussion via breakout rooms.
Speakers in the first lightning covered the region’s response to COVID-19. The NRV has received numerous accolades and leaders from across Virginia have traveled to our region to learn about the NRV Public Health Task Force and our coordinated approach to testing, vaccination, and community support.
The second lightning round included speakers on community health, creek conservation, public art, food assistance, and housing. The event also included videos highlighting stream conservation from the New River Land Trust and an innovative program at Millstone Kitchen to serve meals to people in need during the pandemic. The session closed with breakout room discussions on: Community Health, COVID-19 Economic Recovery, COVID-19 Impact on Basic Needs, Housing and Trail Systems & Connectivity.
A recording of the lightning rounds along with links to the videos and slides can be found at www.nrvlivability.org.