Community Resource Mapping and revamped maps
We've just added a Community Resource Mapping theme to our educational project, Journey Up Coal River, and completely revamped our interactive maps. Dozens of volunteers interviewed residents of the Coal River Valley in southern West Virginia and put information from those interviews onto the interactive map in the new Community Resource Mapping theme. Residents then reviewed the map data before it was made public. These projects were made possible with funding from the West Virginia Humanities Council and in partnership with Coal River Mountain Watch.
The community resource map illustrates the skills and resources of participating Coal River Valley residents, their visions of prosperity for the area, and the projects they are working on to move towards that vision. The accompanying listening project summaries further expand the picture to include barriers and opportunities each person sees for the community. We chose to use participatory mapping due to its potential to combine research and community organizing with the objective of creating a starting point for local people to employ proactive strategies to create alternatives to the extractive mono-economy. We also created a Community Resource Mapping lesson plan (link to all lesson plans) to aid educators who are interested in using this information in the classroom.
Please email us if you have suggestions, would like to participate, or are interested in using this information in your classroom. Enjoy!