A community development project in Glouster is set to receive $2.8 million from the state

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The state plans to provide $2.8 million in funding for a community development and revitalization project in the village of Glouster.

A sign for the town of Glouster mounted on stone and mortar pillar by the roadThe project includes reclamation and improvements to two downtown buildings, improvements to Glouster Memorial Park, construction of three duplexes and a daycare facility, and operation of a workforce development program that will provide economic opportunities and services that address historical inequities and generational trauma.

The funding is through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program, which is focused on eliminating potential hazards associated with abandoned mine lands and offering new, safe spaces for recreation and tourism.

The project is part of the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program’s initiative to address social determinants of health, known as New Leaf Justice Enterprises. The state’s investment in New Leaf Glouster activities compliments a $3.4 million investment from the Athens County Commissioners and a $1.6 million grant through the Appalachian Community Grant Program.

“SAOP is grateful to partner with ODNR and the entire Glouster community to bring new life and new purpose to these former mine lands,” SAOP Executive Director Jen Seifert said in a news release. “Glouster is a resilient community, and we believe this project will bolster its revitalization efforts and ultimately mitigate the lasting socio-economic impact that has resulted from the decline of the coal mining industry.”

The project is expected to begin this spring with an anticipated completion date in spring 2027.