ReInvision Huntingdon (RIH) was started in the fall of 2015 as an organization focused on community input. Founder Ryan Kough, a Huntingdon native, relocated back to the area following a nomadic lifestyle residing in 7 states over 10 years. As a woman run organization, Ryan brings her education based on creativity and communication, her drive to see revitalization through positive community partnerships, and a fascination for unique community input. “Starting a nonprofit was never a part of my 5 year plan once returning to PA. However, I began realizing that I had knowledge and experience from past revitalization initiatives that I was not sharing with my community.”
A few of early accomplishments included the first full year of the Small Projects Big Ideas Grant, the creation of the Huntingdon Community Food Garden, a series of Public Community Discussion Meetings, the Vacant Spaces of Huntingdon series, in addition to assisting Huntingdon Borough Mayor Brown in revitalizing the Boom Town initiative led by borough merchants to create and facilitate borough based events.
The first year of the Small Projects Big Ideas grant funded four projects totaling $2,400 of local beautification endeavors. RIH worked to facilitate and accept the grant submissions that were shared with local donors in a blind review process. Many awesome project submissions were received in our first year. We plan to continue this initiative for years to come and look forward to the beautification that will acquire over time from this grant.
Three Public Community Discussion meetings were held in 2016 with attendees vastly ranging in age and demographics. Following a spring 2016 meeting, a small team of garden and food enthusiasts emerged. This team worked to create a proposal focusing on educational garden programming, planting workshops, harvesting instruction, and food preservation demonstrations. The Huntingdon Community Center and Borough of Huntingdon accepted this partnership proposal with RIH and work began in the spring of 2016 to revitalize the vacant elementary school yard.
The Huntingdon Community Food Garden was able to donate over $1,100 of sustainably grown produce back to local organizations that feed our community. The garden is located at 5th and Moore Streets and is growing quickly as a positive community initiative being featured on local evening news stations in addition to print publications.
In our first year RIH has heard first hand from the Huntingdon community that their initiatives and public discussion meetings have sparked positive vibrations among local organizations, elected officials, and educational institutions. This positive energy is a key part of our mission to facilitate community development by creating a positive atmosphere to share ideas and to strengthen our community through project based revitalization.
Over the next decade Ryan and the ReInvision Huntingdon team hope to inspire others to see places we can continue the revitalize. Over time we can all contribute to the building a vibrant community in Huntingdon through various revitalization initiatives, projects, and programing brought to you by ReInvision Huntingdon. Working together as a community we are stronger. We look forward to being a local staple for positive revitalization initiatives in the Huntingdon area.