BLACKSBURG — The latest episode of Virginia Tech's Save Our Towns program profiles Saltville's prized paleontological finds. The town trumpets a history that spans from the Ice Age to the space age. Graduate student Tara Reel of Belington, West Virginia, who is majoring in public administration as well as planning, is the segment's field reporter.
In Pearisburg, Virginia Tech's cameras catch Mayor Robert Dickerson on a hike to the Cascades, where, against the backdrop of the stunning waterfall, he talks about attracting tourists. Save Our Towns is chronicling the mayor's economic development efforts throughout the year.
Suzanne Moomaw, who heads the Appalachian Prosperity Project at the University of Virginia, tells how mayors can help a town believe in itself.
The episode also shares information from two other experts: Phil Blevins, an agriculture and natural resources Extension agent in Washington County who works with local groups to promote agriculture, and Jeff Marion of the College of Natural Resources and Environmentwho works to protect the Appalachian Trail.
Save Our Towns has generated thousands of views both on YouTube and on the resource-rich Save Our Towns website. Future episodes are planned to showcase riverside sculptures in Pearisburg and the power of residents pulling together in Haysi.