Conference Program Spotlight: Mobile Tours

Sunday, July 22 (1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Traipsing Around Staunton – A Unique Way to Experience a Unique Downtown

Join Staunton and Traipse staff for an interactive small-group walkabout in historic Downtown Staunton. Participants will utilize the mobile app Traipse to explore points of interests and select local businesses. At each stop, participants get information about the location, and a puzzle to solve based on their surroundings. At the businesses, participants would receive a free item or food/drink sample. Learn more about how communities can utilize mobile apps and other technologies to highlight historic, cultural, and economic assets and cultivate an appreciation of planning principles that create “Traispe-able” areas. (Tour limited to 20 persons)



Smokestacks & Scenic Views – Explore Waynesboro

Located in the Shenandoah Valley at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, bisected by the South River, and overflowing with pure spring water, Waynesboro’s environmental assets could hardly be any better. Yet the city’s industrial history has left a legacy that is anything but green. This mobile tour will explore Waynesboro’s complicated relationship with its beautiful natural setting and ways the City is transforming that legacy. The Tour will visit “Sunset Park,” a former quarry and city landfill currently being converted into a park that offers 360-degree views of the Shenandoah Valley. We will walk the South River Greenway and hear about how the City is turning its parks into a riverfront park system. We will also look at the legacy of mercury contamination from DuPont’s Waynesboro plant. This will include looking at a contaminated stream bank currently being remediated with a pioneering biofilter method and seeing several locations where money from the Natural Resource Damages Assessment settlement is being used to create a better South River habitat for the City’s human and non-human residents. (Tour limited to 30 persons)

 

Monday, July 23 (1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Turning Gold into Green – How Agritourism Supports the Valley’s Farmers and its Economy

Join staff from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission’s (CSPDC) Fields of Gold program on a tour showcasing agricultural producers, wineries and breweries in nearby Augusta County. Staff will share insights on launching and running a successful agritourism program, including identifying and securing grant funding, marketing, and member support. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from members about how participating in a regional agritourism program has benefited their businesses. Fields of Gold is an award-winning agritourism project sponsored by the CSPDC. (Tour limited to 20 persons)

Adaptive Reuse - Blackburn Inn Tells a New Story at the Old Western State Hospital

Explore the in-process redevelopment of an 80-acre campus that is the former home of an asylum and prison and is now evolving into a mixed-use complex with a variety of residential units along with a hotel and other commercial establishments, only steps from Staunton’s award-winning downtown district. The newly opened (Spring 2018) Blackburn Inn will host participants on-site, where they will hear from site developers and managers about how this historic and scenic campus is becoming “The Villages at Staunton,” in ways that preserve and enhance that history and scenery. Participants will also learn from transportation officials about plans for the reconstruction of Richmond Avenue immediately adjacent to “The Villages” development. Recently funded through “SMART SCALE”, the state’s transportation prioritization program, the project will implement a “Road Diet” along Richmond Avenue and roundabout at the intersection with Greenville Avenue to introduce “gateway” elements and improve accessibility to the downtown district for all users of the corridor. Participants may also choose to do an app-led “puzzle hunt” walking tour of the campus to learn more about its history and landscape. (Tour limited to 20 persons)