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Tri-County Health Department issues $3 million in grants to school districts and local governments to promote healthy eating and active living
Greenwood Village – Tri-County Health Department has issued nearly $3 million in grants to local governments and school districts across Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties to support policy, systems and environmental change to promote healthy eating and active living. These funds are part of the $10.5 million, twoyear grant that Tri-County received as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Communities
Putting Prevention to Work initiative (CPPW), which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“The work supported by these community grants will benefit people of all ages. The focus on policy, systems and environmental change is the most effective way to achieve sustainable, population-wide impact,” states Richard L. Vogt, MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.
“The ultimate goal of these projects is to prevent cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases from occurring in the first place. And prevention is always more effective and cost-efficient than treatment,” added Vogt.
Fourteen school districts in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties were provided funding to hire District Grant Coordinators for the duration of the CPPW grant. These Coordinators will implement the following strategies district-wide, which were selected by the school district superintendents, in partnership with Tri-County Health Department, from strategies provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Increase and promote healthy food choices, and/or restrict unhealthy food choices;
- Increase non-food or healthy food related classroom rewards or parties; and
- Increase weekly physical activity
“We are talking about changes such as providing healthier choices in vending machines or a few extra minutes of recess in honor of a birthday, instead of cupcakes,” explained Patty Boyd, CPPW Program Manager at Tri-County Health Department. “Small changes can make a big difference, if they are implemented systemwide,” she added.
In addition to funding for the school districts, thirteen local governments were awarded grants for a variety of projects that will create sustainable policy, systems or environmental change to promote healthy eating and physical activity in their communities. Brief descriptions of the grants awarded are as follows:
Adams County Parks and Community Resources
Renovate an existing community garden area adjacent to the Adams County Head Start (ACHS) Sunshine Center and facilitate gardening by children, parents and community volunteers.
City of Aurora
Project A: Update the City’s 1998 Bicycle Plan, expanding and building upon recommendations of the Northwest
Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Project B: Incentivize a grocer to offer fresh produce in a neighborhood where access to fresh produce is limited.
Town of Bennett
Project A: Create walking infrastructure at the Community Center through a walking perimeter trail; provide
accompanying signage; update the Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
Project B: Stripe a portion of the Town’s streets leading to the school to provide a safe section for children and adults to walk or bicycle safely; install signage.
City of Commerce City
Develop a comprehensive city-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and install way-finding signage for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Develop two agriculture demonstration orchards (Lowell Ranch and Hidden Mesa Open Space) that exhibit a variety of high nutritional value fruits and nuts that can be grown in Douglas County at various agricultural scales and install interpretive signage at demonstration orchards to encourage residents to select healthful, locally-grown foods.
City of Englewood
Project A: Identify ways to redesign key corridors with pedestrian-oriented infrastructure and amenities to encourage pedestrian movements between and throughout Downtown and Medical Districts. Project B: Conduct a follow-up to the City’s 2004 Master Bicycle Plan by providing a citywide comprehensive bicycle route and trail system that will connect to trails in adjacent municipalities and the region. Also, purchase and install route multilingual signage and miscellaneous bicycle infrastructure.
City of Englewood Parks and Recreation
Develop two community gardens with the City of Englewood located at Charles Hay Elementary School and Clayton Elementary School.
City of Glendale
Provide city residents and users of the regional trail system opportunities for recreational and functional walking, bicycling and other forms of physical activity by creating a trail connection across Cherry Creek joining city pathways to the regional trail/park system.
City of Littleton
Develop a Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the City; install improvements on a prioritized basis to begin implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
Rangeview Library District
Develop, construct, organize and plant two community gardens, one each at the Commerce City and Perl Mack
City of Sheridan
Establish connectivity to a local and regional trail/path network, identifying additional park/open space development opportunities.
City of Thornton/Mapleton School District
Purchase play equipment and install playground for York International School to serve the school’s younger children (K-6) and families in the surrounding area and install program signage in Spanish and translate promotional materials into Spanish to encourage playground usage by Hispanic residents.
City of Thornton
Conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) that focuses on improving access to physical activity and nutritious foods among the residents population in the South Thornton Revitalization (STaR) area. “These projects will create change that will endure and have lasting impact long after the grant period is over,” explained Vogt. “We are happy to have the opportunity to work in partnership with our communities, and provide the resources to make these important changes happen,” he added. Tri-County Health Department represents the 1.3 million residents of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.
To learn more about Tri-County Health Department’s CPPW grant program, visit www.tchd.org.
To learn more about Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery and
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