Bridging the Divide
Cultivating connections between our rural and urban communities
There has been much discussion recently about America’s ever-widening gap in the rural-urban divide. This inspired students in the Advanced Visual Journalism course at Western to explore the topic on a local level. During the fall of 2016, nine students set out to find stories in Bellingham and rural Whatcom County to better understand this phenomenon. While it is inevitable that some cultural, political and geographic divisions exist, there are individuals, companies and organizations working together in sustainable ways that bridges the gap.
Gretchen Woodys makes her living doing what she loves, farming. While raising her son, Woodys forges ahead through the challenges of her work and the agriculture industry as she farms sustainably and organically in Everson, Washington.
Food deserts affect both urban and rural communities in Whatcom County. The causes and solutions to food deserts look different from community to community, however, the issue is the same: access to healthy, affordable food.
Randee Matthews and Dominic Yoxtheimer speak with a state official in Olympia, a marijuana grower in Whatcom County, a recreational retailer in Bellingham and several consumers about Washington State’s booming marijuana industry.
An infographic illustrating an alternative energy source – straight from local Whatcom County dairies.
Aslan Brewing Company turns their brewing waste into feed treasure for a local farmer. The brewery creates a unique closed loop system by repurposing spent grain to prevent waste and cultivate community relationships.
For decades in America, the table has symbolized community, connectedness and the comfort of sharing a meal with loved ones. As times change, traditions evolve along with it, but many millennials are holding fast to the ritual of gathering to make good food and cultivate meaningful conversation.