It’s been a year — a year since I joined the Harvest Foundation.
As the old adage says, oh how time flies. Over this past year, I’ve shared with you the activities happening at Harvest:
- We created a local investing impact strategy;
- Began our equity journey
- Assessed our communications efforts; and most recently,
- Began planning our next strategic plan.
In each of these efforts, we reached out to you to listen and learn more. To learn more about your thoughts, wishes, and visions for our community. We are so appreciative of your willingness to share with us and we will continue to listen.
I’m an optimist by nature, so I tend to see the world in a glass-half-full kind of way. When I came to Martinsville in May 2020, I could already see a community that cared and a community that was ready to move into its future. This past year assured me that my first impression was right. I remain hopeful and optimistic and I’ll share with you a few reasons why.
- In 2019, the community held a housing summit to explore the lack of affordable and quality housing in our community. Following the summit, a study was conducted to outline what was needed to fill our housing gaps. Since then, several housing initiatives are underway. In Uptown there are several developments in progress that will bring 92 units- The Five Points Neighborhood, the Chief Tassel Building and the BB&T building to name a few. Feet on the street will spur more economic development in Uptown. In Henry County, the John Redd School Building and 35 units and the old Fieldale High School will bring 24 more apartments to the community.
- The Uptown Partnership is staffed and activated. In their short time, they launched an Alleyway project to clean up and create fun spaces in Uptown Alleys. Most importantly, Uptown Partnership is engaged in a community-driven visioning process to draft the future path for Uptown. They want to hear from everyone, so respond to the survey and come to the in-person visioning events.
- There are more businesses in Uptown, even with COVID. Over the past year, a number of businesses, including the new coffee shop, The Ground Floor, and The TAD Space opened up in Uptown. We have more to do, but we are headed in the right direction.
- Our Economic Development team landed some large manufacturers and will be bringing more jobs to the area. Press Glass recently opened in Commonwealth Crossing Business Complex and Crown Holdings announced they are headed there as well, totaling 338 new jobs just at CCBC.
These recent successes build upon the past successes, including the amazing trails system, the access points to the Smith River, the marina at Philpott and the Smith River Sports Complex. There is so much happening in MHC, so the future looks bright. Come join the efforts and help keep us moving forward.