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Try This Conference: A Movement For Change

This is what it feels like to be part of a movement!

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Kate Long and Stephen Smith led a group of more than 500 West Virginians at the Try This WV conference this weekend. These attendees are transforming their communities – through community gardens, exercise groups, bike trails, libraries, or as in one case, by building a grocery store.


The gaga pit! One of many physical activity opportunities at Try This - yoga, running, Zumba, and more! #trythiswv

A photo posted by TryThisWV (@trythiswv) on


This movement is contagious.

Reclaimed land. Reclaimed lives. Reclaimed hope.

Bottoms up.

Community by community.

It is part of the evolving movement in the state towards health.


Fruits, veggies & infused water make for a delicious healthy afternoon treat! #WilliamsonMobileMarket @WVWesleyan #TryThisWV

A photo posted by TryThisWV (@trythiswv) on


Kate initially designed Try This after the CDC’s recommendations on healthy communities. Stephen joined Kate and it is clear that the Try This movement is highly effective.

To get a mini-grant, three separate organizations need to connect and apply.

The results and stories that were disclosed at the conference were stunning.

One such story was about an ex-convict that decided he wanted to contribute to the community that he once made a living selling drugs in. After release from prison, he joined the team of community volunteers to make a community garden – food and flower that provide nutrition and beauty.

This is part of the story of WV rebirth – for people and communities.

Try This WV is taking further steps to connect their networks with others – faith-based; policy-based and community-based.

The state is changing and the people I met this weekend are a critical reason why.

This is what a movement and a transformation feels like.