Leaders from across the state were recognized for their work in brownfield redevelopment earlier this month. The WV Brownfields Assistance Centers presented the 2017 WV Brownfield Awards to five projects, organizations, and individuals who have demonstrated strong commitments to redevelopment. Award categories included: Economic Development, Community Engagement, Environmental Impact, Local Leadership, and Brownfields Visionary. Economic Development: Jeffrey Lusk and the Hatfield McCoy Trails were honored for their work in McDowell County on the development of a new trailhead facility for the Pocahontas Trail System. This project will yield economic development success for the Trail Authority, the Town of Bramwell, Mercer County, and the adjacent private business, demonstrating that underground storage tank issues do not have to stop new economic development. Community Engagement: The Morgan County Recreational Complex in Berkeley Springs was honored for the project team’s commitment to creative and comprehensive community engagement. Over the course of the project, they have worked closely with teachers, school officials, students, parents, and other networks of organizations to ensure that the reuse of the site met the community’s needs. Environmental Impact: The project team on the Trimodal Terminal Project in Follansbee were honored for their vision, risk taking, and perseverance in remediating over 400 acres of former Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation property. Project leads and property owners Jim Joseph and Scotty Ewusiak noted that the success of this project would have been impossible without the commitment of the full team, including the WVDEP, US EPA, and Lydia Work at Environmental Standards. The project was further supported by a loan from the Power of 32 Site Development Fund, managed by Callay Capital. Local Leadership: New Historic Thomas and the City of Thomas were recognized as the Local Leaders of the year for their work in revitalizing the city through the inventorying, assessing, remediating, and redeveloping brownfield sites. Through the exceptional collaboration between city officials and New Historic Thomas, the city has been awarded over half a million dollars in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program and the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center and leveraged significant additional grant funds and private investment for revitalization/redevelopment. and Brownfields Visionary. Brownfields Visionary: Matt Ward, who has played a major role in the national and statewide brownfield movements since their beginnings over 20 years ago, received the Brownfields Visionary Award, which recognizes an exemplary individual or organization that has shown innovation and vision in the redevelopment of brownfields with major statewide impact. Mat has worked as a consultant to the US EPA Brownfields and Land Revitalization Office since 1997 and helped dozens of communities across the nation secure brownfield resources and implement revitalization strategies. “Brownfields redevelopment requires vision, persistence, and tenacity. West Virginia is lucky to have individuals and organizations that have all three of those characteristics,” said Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center Director Patrick Kirby. “All of the 2017 Brownfield Award winners bring an additional ingredient to the mix – catalytic leadership that has changed the course of the communities they are working in.” Read more about the 2017 WV Brownfield Awards recipients.