The West Virginia University Community Design Team will again visit the Elkhorn Creek Watershed in McDowellCounty this week to help communities work on a localized plan to address flood recoveryrevitalization issues.

The team first visited the watershed in April of 2002 in response to the July 2001 floods. During that initial visit, the team and community members defined issues and short-term projects that would help the communities to begin rebuilding. At the close of the visit, the team made arrangements to return at the end of May 2002 to continue its work and present ideas and recommendations to the communities.

After the second round of flooding in early May, the Design Team made the decision to postpone the second visit until the state and communities had addressed the immediate needs of its citizens. In returning to the Elkhorn, the Design Team will revisit the projects discussed previously and will address new issues that may have arisen as a result of the most recent flood waters.

The Community Design Team is a network of faculty, students and other West Virginia citizens that, when invited by a community, organizes into a multi-disciplinary team that will conduct a weekend visit to help a community strategize an agenda for revitalization. The Community Design Team is supported by WVU s Division of Resource Management in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, and the WVU Extension Service. The visit to McDowellCounty is part of a larger Flood Recovery Program that is being administered by WVU Extension and has been funded by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The team that will visit Elkhorn Creek will consist of community development specialists, landscape architects, transportation engineers, social workers and environmental and water quality specialists. Team members will spend several days gathering information from members of the community and one day formulating their recommendations.

On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 7), the Design Team will bring together several state and regional groups that are working to shape the future of Elkhorn Creek. This will be done through a panel discussion that is open to the public. A community dinner is scheduled that evening followed by community forum where the Design Team will seek the help of community members in prioritizing projects and issues.

Friday will include focused work with community members, a tour of the watershed for the Community Design Team and youth mapping exercise.

Saturday will consist of working sessions in which the team will produce its results and then present them to the public. There will be a community dinner Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Design Teams presentation at 3:30 p.m.

All meetings will take place the S.A.F.E. Housing building in Welch.

For more information on the WV Community Design Team visit to Elkhorn Creek, contact the S.A.F.E. Office in Kimball, 304-585-7440/7501.