March Community of the Month

(Photo Credit Montgomery Herald)

Active SWV would like to tell you about all the dynamic things happening in the City of Smithers in Fayette County, WV. Smithers is a small city in the Upper Kanawha Valley with big ideas for the community. The City of Smithers has aquired the the Valley Elementary School building to convert into a community center. They are dubbing it the Gateway Center due to the location of the city being the “Gateway to the New River Gorge” and the “Gateway to the Capitol City”. Aquiring the building from the Fayette County Board of Education was only the first step in making some big changes in the City of Smithers for the surrounding residents.

The new Gateway Center will be a benefit and provide resources for the commmunity. The facility is not only the new City Hall and City Council Chambers but also includes a daycare, and soon a Senior Center, the police department, and a space for free community physical activity progams (this is where Active SWV comes in)!

Active SWV has partnerted with the City of Smithers to recruit, train, and offer technical support to volunteers Community Captains to lead free physical activity programs at the new Gateway Center ALL FOR FREE. These progams will be beginner friendly and open to Smithers and surrounding residents. The goal of this partnership is to remove barriers to physical activity in the community and will include yoga, group aerobics, and walking. This is were we need your help. We are looking for folks in the area that would like to go through Active SWV’s FREE training to become Community Captain leaders in physical activity programs at the new Gateway Center in Smither. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Active SWV and become part of a larger network of compassionate volunteers bringing healthy lifestyles to their friends, families, and community please contact Erin Reid at or call our office at 304-254-8488.

Along with the FREE community physical activity programs we are hoping will soon be available at the Gateway Center, Active SWV has been working with Mayor Caviler and the Smithers City Council on Complete Streets policies to increase connectivity, walkability, and bike ability in the community. Working on Complete Streets policy also shows the City’s commitment to creating opportunities for physical activity by taking into consideration bike and pedestrian safety within the City’s future infrastructure planning. Having safe streets for everyone will give the community the opportunity to include physical activity in their daily lives like walking to the post office or the Gateway Center.

Active SWV and Mayor Caviler would love to have you become a part of the amazing changes coming to Smithers. Please contact Active SWV or the City of Smithers if you would like to be involved with either project mentioned above. We will help connect you with ways to be part of all of the cool and positive things happening in the City of Smithers.

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