Madison, W.Va. – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3 million grant to Boone Memorial Hospital, Inc. (d/b/a Boone Memorial Health) (BMH) for the construction and establishment of the Madison Farmers Market and Greenhouse. Based on responses from local entities and internal projections, BMH expects the project will create 136 jobs and retain 23 jobs. The grant is part of $15.4 million in American Rescue Plan investments announced by EDA for projects in West Virginia.

The project will be located on Main Street in downtown Madison and will occupy a currently vacant lot. Part of the site was donated to BMH by the Madison Development Authority earlier this year.

Specific activities included in the scope of the work include the construction and outfitting of an indoor-outdoor farmers market structure and a permanent, environmentally conscious greenhouse, in addition to an outdoor stage and seating area. Construction and operation of the Farmers Market and Greenhouse will be managed by the BMH Foundation for Community Health, a department of BMH launched this year.

“The Madison Farmers Market and Greenhouse is an endeavor designed to positively impact each of the social determinants of health with an emphasis on improving economic stability and food insecurity,” said BMH General Counsel and Chief External Affairs Officer Ray Harrell, Jr. “By significantly increasing access to fresh produce, providing agricultural education opportunities, and stimulating economic activity and agritourism in the heart of Boone County, we can take serious steps toward improving community health in a meaningful way.”

Current operational plans include a farmers market, open to the public, where local growers and producers will be invited to sell their products. The greenhouse will feature a variety of both hydroponic and non-hydroponic growing methods and will serve as an experiential learning site for adults and K-12 students.

“As a leading health care system in the region, we believe it is our social responsibility to explore and pursue non-traditional methods to improve the overall health of the communities we serve,” said Boone Memorial Health Chief Executive Officer Virgil Underwood. “The Madison Farmers Market and Greenhouse illustrates our commitment to that responsibility. We could not be more grateful to EDA for this significant investment in our communities and to our congressional delegation for their unwavering support.”

Since the project’s conception, BMH has received design and operational guidance from a robust coalition of partners, which include state and local governmental agencies, small businesses, foundations, community leaders, and others.

“We look forward to working together with our existing partners and welcoming new partners into the fold as we embark on this important work,” Harrell added.

Additional details regarding the Madison Farmers Market and Greenhouse will be released at a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled to be held this fall.