Leadership Fauquier Receives Community Development Grant, Selects Vint Hill as Site Location

IMG_4875Participants in Leadership Fauquier’s experiential community awareness program visited Vint Hill on March 8 to work with New York-based nonprofit Projects for Public Spaces (PPS) on envisioning a community with a strong sense of place. The collaboration with PPS was funded by the PATH Foundation (formerly the Fauquier Health Foundation), a grant-making nonprofit organization in Warrenton.

PPS is a planning, design and educational organization devoted to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Its “Placemaking” approach helps citizens transform and rejuvenate their public spaces to highlight local assets and serve common needs.

Kirsten Dueck, senior program officer of the PATH Foundation and a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council, helped bring PPS to Vint Hill. Dueck was selected to participate in Leadership Fauquier’s 10-month leadership program, and through her connection with PPS, coordinated the educational opportunity for her class.

Daphne Latimore, executive director of Leadership Fauquier, explained how the program bolsters ongoing efforts to educate and grow strong leaders in Fauquier.

“The Leadership Fauquier framework is designed to build community awareness,” said Latimore. “Our focus is to connect and engage our participants so that they will go back into the community and advocate for its healthy growth. The PPS model is a perfect complement to what we’re trying to achieve.”

Vint Hill was chosen by program participants as the venue for the PPS Placemaking exercise, and will soon join the list of 3,000 communities served worldwide by the organization.

“PPS leads participants through a series of exercises to help them consider what creates a sense of place and community,” said Dueck. “Vint Hill is the perfect setting for this exercise because it has the framework of a traditional community. It has charm, but it’s not completely fleshed out yet. It presents an interesting opportunity to start a creative train of thought.”

Vint Hill Village, LLC President Ed Moore is excited by the prospects of the arrangement.

“This is a great opportunity for the people of our community,” said Moore. “It fits with our mission to establish Vint Hill as a live/work/play community. We’re all about public input, and our hope is that this will allow people to really think through what it is they want from their community and what would make the space more satisfying to them. We’re grateful to have been selected by Leadership Fauquier to be a part of this.”

Latimore believes this exposure and strategic thinking process will benefit program participants, giving them a clearer idea of how to play a strategic role in the community’s development. She expresses gratitude for the organizations that have come forward to support Leadership Fauquier.

“If the PATH Foundation had not sponsored this day for us, we wouldn’t have been able to reach out to PPS,” said Latimore. “I also have to give tremendous credit to Vint Hill. We are so grateful to them for this day and for making themselves available to our class and to PPS for this exercise. They understand that it’s all about partnership.”

About Leadership Fauquier: Leadership Fauquier is the premier nonprofit organization within Fauquier County for engaging, equipping and connecting current and future civic leaders. It does this by providing experiential learning opportunities, expanding community awareness and building leadership skills. Leadership Fauquier is committed to creating a foundation that benefits its participants, local organizations and the Fauquier community as a whole. To learn more, visit www.LeadershipFauquier.org.

About the PATH Foundation: The Piedmont Action to Health (PATH) Foundation is a grant-making organization created to provide community organizations the opportunity to request funding for new or ongoing projects. PATH’s mission is to take action to improve health and wellness on a broad scale in Fauquier, Rappahannock and Northern Culpeper Counties. To learn more, visit www.pathforyou.org.