Appalachian Transition Fellows
Encouraging a new generation of Appalachian leaders while working to diversify the regional economy? That is the goal of the Appalachian Transition Fellowship Program. The first class of Fellows, fourteen young people from throughout the region, recently started working with nonprofits, governments and businesses in six states on projects that create jobs and livelihoods. Mountain Talk host Mimi Pickering spoke with Kierra Sims from the Highlander Center, which is coordinating the program and mentoring the Fellows, and with Fellows Joshua Outsey, Mae Humiston, and Eric Dixon.
For more on the program and this year’s Appalachian Transition Fellows check out this article in Yes Magazine.
Letcher Farmers’ Market Summer Feeding Site First in Nation
The Letcher County Farmers’ Market is the first in Kentucky, and likely the first in the entire country, to offer free meals cooked on site from market vegetables to children 18 and under. The Farmers’ Market celebrated with its many partners including the Letcher County School System, US Department of Agriculture, KY Department of Education, and the farmers who make it all possible during the market in Whitesburg on Saturday, July 26th. Elizabeth Sanders reports.
SOAR Listens to Letcher County Farm & Food Ideas
The SOAR Working Group on Agriculture, Community and Regional Foods, and Natural Resources held a Listening Session in Letcher County, KY on June 19. After a discussion of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for economic development and job creation in local foods and forestry, folks in the group offered their ideas for what would help the area.
Environmental Education Model in Coalfields Virginia
The Clinch River Watershed is one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America, home to a staggering variety of aquatic life and even endangered mussels. But its water faces many obstacles to staying clean enough to maintain this diversity, including sediment and runoff from coal and agricultural operations. The Wetlands Esonoa Outdoor Learning Center, a long-running student-driven project overseen by Castlewood High School teacher Terry Vencil, has transformed an old lake full of trash into a pristine and functioning wetland that filters runoff before it reaches the river. The wetland also serves as an indoor and outdoor classroom where Ms. Vencil’s students meet four days a week. WMMT’s Parker Hobson reports on this project has helped build environmental awareness, confidence, and learning skills among local students since 1999.