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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.


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.


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.