BBGG to help bring exposure to Uniontown in Staunton

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:10 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Building Bridges for the Greater Good (BBGG) gathered public input for the revitalization of Uniontown in Staunton.

At its Sep. 18 meeting, BBGG met with community partners and the community for feedback on the Uniontown revitalization project (formally known as Uniontown community clean-up).

Ophie Kier, founder of BBGG, said the attitude shift and name change for the project is for current residents of Uniontown. He said the area doesn’t need to be cleaned up, rather it needs exposure and attention to bring it back to the community it once was.

“There were stores there, there was a church there, there was a school there,” Kier said. “If we’re bringing another part of the city back into the fold if you will, then they also feel a strong part of the city that we all live in.”

BBGG plans on walking through the neighborhood on Sep. 23rd to see what shrubbery, trees and other clearable items there are to help the community. Kier said cleaning up the area is important, but there are other more pressing matters to fix including water and sewage functionality in Uniontown.

Kier said the Uniontown community went from 50+ people living in the area, to around 13 families/homes occupied. Many of the lots in the neighborhood are vacant, and a bridge that connects part of Uniontown was removed and not replaced. Kier said BBGG is in contact with the city and is both advocating for changes in Uniontown as well as holding the city accountable for these restoration promises.

”There’s a level of pride that the owners of Uniontown have and the neighborhood doesn’t need cleaning up,” Kier said. “It’s to expose the area, to let people know ‘hey, this is a part of our city’ and we need to do what we can to continue bringing it forward.”

Kier emphasized the importance of recognizing Uniontown is an important part of African-American history in the Queen City and the Shenandoah Valley.