Grassroots Appalachia

Supporting Sustainable Living Through Community Engagement

Our Purpose

Grassroots Appalachia LLC exists to help build a more sustainable Appalachia.

Grassroots Appalachia holds as a core value that our work be structured on the Social Enterprise model, as the best way for us to achieve our purpose. As defined by the Social Enterprise Alliance, a social enterprise is an organization “…that addresses a basic unmet need or solve(s) a social or environmental problem through a market driven approach.”

We recognize the root challenges facing the region to be economic disparity, human interior poverty, and ecological imbalances. We acknowledge that many fine people and organizations have been working in Appalachia for decades to address these very issues. We wish to partner with them in a spirit of solidarity and reciprocity, to help address the much-needed work which remains.

Grassroots Appalachia believes that a market-driven approach in a free-market economy is a very effective and proven way to reduce economic disparity. This market-driven approach will thus empower Appalachians to reach markets near and far through the private sector, for it is the private sector that provides the best structure for such an approach.

To fulfill our mission, Grassroots Appalachia partners with others to provide goods and services, in order to produce revenue streams for us and our partners.


We partner with expert farmers, artisans, herbalists and others to provide training in:

  • Traditional music, arts and drama
  • Wild food gathering and nature knowledge
  • Food growing and preservation
  • Food, Water & Shelter Security
  • Herbal Gardening & Cultivating for Personal and Community Health
  • Small farm-based foods, goods and herbs
  • Folk Art and hand-crafted jewelry
  • Traditional and Americana CDs and DVDs
  • Handcrafted furniture and wood products

We publish an online news outlet and will publish books:

  • The Appalachian Chronicle is an online news publication providing articles on vital Appalachian issues, people and events.
  • Two books are scheduled for publication by Grassroots Appalachia later this year, including a history of Sweet Springs Resort Park. More details will be shared later.
Community Engagement

We partner with experts to provide hands-on training and workshops for people of all ages on the traditions, skills and culture of Appalachia. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Community Sustainability
  • Writing Workshops
  • Non-profit Board Leadership Training
  • Media Relations Management Training
  • Community Preparedness and Disaster Leadership Training
  • Political Electioneering, Governing and Leadership Training
Guiding Wisdom

A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.

Tasunke Witco (Crazy Horse), Oglala Lakota Sioux

Previous Experience

While Grassroots Appalachia is a new venture in name, the principles guiding us are not. A few programs we’ve partnered with others:

  • Community forum on fracking and pipeline development in the region. 
  • Organizing and hosting the Preserving Sacred Appalachia conference.
  • Conducting a “Community of Writers” Writing Workshop through the Caldwell County (N.C.) Public Library; several writers subsequently published books.
MIchael Barrick

The owner of Grassroots Appalachia is Michael Barrick. He is a native of Clarksburg, West Virginia. He splits his time between Sweet Springs, W.Va. and Lenoir, N.C.


Grassroots Appalachia LLC

19540 Sweet Springs Valley Road

Gap Mills, W.Va. 24941


Grassroots Appalachia’s office is located in one of the “Five Sisters” of Sweet Springs Resort Park, ca 1857.
Sweet Springs Hotel, designed by Thomas Jefferson, built ca. 1833.

© Grassroots Appalachia, 2020.