The city of Bessemer has been selected by the Obama Administration to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.
Bessemer is one of 27 cities out of approximately 300 applicants nationwide to be selected for the program.
Click to read the Local Foods, Local Places press release.
“We are very excited to be selected to participate in this program,” said Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley. “This is an opportunity for us to engage and create federal partnerships which will help us in the revitalization of our city and improve the overall health and well-being of our residents."
Each Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan and then identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.
Developed as a partnership between the USDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the Applachain Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, this initiative is part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.
Under the effort a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the city to develop specifically identified local food projects.
Bessemer’s initial include partnering with state and local agencies to create and market a viable Farmer’s Market in the city as part of downtown revitalization efforts. In addition, the city desires to promote healthier eating habits and the use of vacant properties for activities such as community gardens and urban farming.
The city has identified several prospective partners to assist in theinitiative. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham assisted the city in applying for the grant.
National folk artist legend and long-time Bessemer resident Thornton Dial passed away on Monday, Jan. 25 at the age of 87.
Dial was born in Emelle, Alabama but moved to Bessemer in 1940, where he lived in the city’s Pipe Shop community. He was honored in 2014 by Bessemer Mayor Kenneth, the Bessemer City Council, Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell and actor Hill Harper at the annual Bob Sykes Blues and BBQ Festival.
The event included art work from Dial on display.
Wikipedia describes Dial as “a pioneering American artist who came to prominence in the late 1980s. Dial’s body of work exhibits astonishing formal variety through powerfully expressive, densely composed assemblages of found materials, often executed on a monumental scale. His range of subjects embraces a broad sweep of history, from human rights to natural disasters and current events. His estate is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.”
Dial was formerly employed at Pullman Company in Bessemer until it closed in 1981. His works have been on exhibit in museums throughout the country, including the Smithsonian Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The city of Bessemer, its Mayor, its representatives and its citizens are saddened by the news of the passing of Mr. Dial and asks for prayers for his family.
For more information on Dial, read the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thornton_Dial
Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley will deliver the State of the City Address on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Bessemer Civic Center.
The State of the City Address will include highlights of this past year, updates on municipal building projects and plans for the upcoming year.
The Address will also highlight improvements in city departments and agencies and new economic development projects taking place in Bessemer.