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54 projects rolled out in 2016 - check out the list organized by county below to learn more!

Calhoun and Gilmer county teams trading ideas and comparing minigrant notes at the conference. The Calhoun team will be creating a countywide wellness collaborative and the Gilmer group will be creating a playground for the Glenville grade school.



Bike and Fishing Clubs for Area Youth:

Whitesville Police will mentor youth biking and fishing clubs. The club meetings will include a positive anti-drug message, and the team will participate in weekly Family Adventure Nights. The bike club will go on bi-monthly group rides twice a month, and the project team will host at least one fishing tournament to draw youth to the clubs. Partners include: Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group, Whitesville State Bank, Coventry Cares, Whitesville Police Department, Whitesville Town Council, Whitesville Elementary School parent volunteer group.

Project Lead: Sheila Combs,



Brooke County Gardens & More:

This team is creating healthy projects in three communities. The Wellsburg Community Garden will offer gardening classes, along with tasting sessions of garden vegetables in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. They will expand the Brooke County walking group by two more teams and create two more walking groups in Follansbee and Beech Bottom. They will create an exercise program for the Beech Bottom Summer Food Program and continue the partnership with the Weirton Christian Center’s Community Garden. The Brooke County WVU Extension office and the Brooke Hancock Family Resource Center will create a curriculum and garden program for the Brooke High School Preschool program. Partners include: Brooke Hancock FRN, WVU Extension, Tri-State Master Gardeners, Brooke County Health Department, and Weirton Christian Center.

Project Lead: Rita Hawkins,



Children on the Green:

So Social LLC, a Huntington drop-in childcare center, will build an outdoor classroom/natural learning space behind their center. They will share the space at at least 45 community events in the coming year, open to the public. The events will promote healthy food, healthy movement, and healthy parenting education for at least 277 attendees. Partners include: Perennial Favorites Greenhouse, WVSU Extension, The Mothers Club of Huntington, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Xylem Family Resources, So Social LLC, Nurtured Body & Birth, The Wild Ramp, Tents & Tantrums, and Marshall University Department of Family and Community Health.

Project Lead: Tia Rumbaugh,

DIY: A Local Food Market:

Huntington’s Wild Ramp is a local market that sold more than a million dollars of produce for local growers in the past year. More than 85% of the proceeds go to the growers. They will host a four-hour mentoring workshop for ten West Virginia community teams that want to do the same in their own communities. The Wild Ramp staff will provide one-to-one technical assistance in five of those communities, which will then create action plans. At least two communities will implement their action plans and launch a community-owned year-round indoor farmers market by June 2017. Partners include: Unlimited Future, The Wild Ramp, Grow Ohio Valley, Williamson Health and Wellness Center, the Marmet Bucket Brigade, Cabell-Huntington Health Department, and Jackson County Master Gardeners.

Project Lead: Lauren Kemp,

Try This Huntington:

This team will host a Kids Fest, a Super Saturday and six Summers on the Terrace events that provide a healthy family meal, educational programming, resource connections, and active games. They will organize weekly gardening and cooking classes at the Marcum Terrace Community Garden, update exercise equipment in the FRC’s fitness center, provide sports and recreational equipment (balls, goals, mesh jerseys, Ridaroos, hula hoops, scooters, etc.) for youth to use at the FRC gym throughout the year and host FRC Healthy Holiday events during school breaks. Partners include: Huntington WV Housing Authority, Marcum Terrace FRC, Housing Development Corporation, Coventry Cares WV, Mountain State Healthy Families, Facing Hunger Foodbank, Marshall University, United Way of the River Cities, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Cabell County Library – Gallaher Branch, and Cabell County FRN.

Project Lead: Shane Randolph,

The Walking Classroom:

This project will provide one walking kit per student in the 4th grade class at Village of Barboursville Elementary. Each student will utilize a pedometer to track their steps during each 30 minute walking session of at least one mile. Students will document mileage after each session, utilizing a mileage chart to determine total mileage walked for the year. Students will earn at least 80% or higher on follow-up activities conducted after completing each walking podcast. Partners include: Cabell County Schools, Barboursville Community Wellness Committee, St. Mary’s Medical Center – Mileage Club, and Village of Barboursville Elementary.

Project Lead: MaryBeth Freeman,

Wheelie’ Good Food & Playtime for a #BetterBville:

This team will recruit elementary, middle, and high school students to serve o the Barboursville Youth Wellness council. They will develop healthy-community programs, events, and activities. This team will organize gardening workshops at Barboursville Community Center, add a 16’ x 16’ high tunnel greenhouse to the community garden, and develop a food cart with healthy food options to offer during school games, community park events and other community events. The cart will also be equipped with physical activity supplies. Partners include: Barboursville Community Wellness Council, WVU Extension – 4H Youth Development, Cabell County Board of Education, Unlimited Future Inc., The Wild Ramp, St. Mary’s Foundation, and The Barboursville Leo Club.

Project Lead: Tiffany Tatum,



Calhoun Compact: A Healthy Community Collaborative:

The Calhoun County Wellness Committee created under this grant aims to improve the wellbeing of county residents through monthly meetings and collaborative teamwork. With this grant, the team will add an irrigation system to the Arnoldsburg Elementary greenhouse, build four raised beds with low tunnels at Pleasant Hill Elementary, offer two gardening classes for parents and kids at Arnoldsburg Elementary and Pleasant Hill Elementary, organize a local TOPS group, and start a Run Calhoun County physical activity campaign.

Partners: Calhoun County FRN, Arnoldsburg Elementary, Berea Gardens, Coventry Cares, Minnie Hamilton Health System, Pleasant Hill Elementary, and WVU Extension.

Project Lead: Jamie Mullins,



Grow Appalachia – Central WV:

Residents of at least five counties will start the Grow Appalachia model in Central West Virginia. They will be mentored by veterans of Grow Appalachia sites in Lincoln, Logan, Mingo and Pocohontas Counties. A minimum of 15 central West Virginia families will receive tools, seeds, plants and classes in starting/expanding gardens during the 2017 growing season. The advisory team plans to secure a VISTA worker who will help develop at least two grant proposals to further fund these activities. Partners include: Step by Step Inc., Gilmer County FRN, Grow Appalachia Big Ugly Community Center, Grow Appalachia Logan County, Linwood Daycare, Roane County FRN, WV Center for Civic Life, WVU Extension, Roane County FRN, and Williamson Health and Wellness Center.

Project Lead: Michael Tierney,



Fayette Compost:

This team will expand its two-school composting program to Mount Hope Elementary. Students will continue to turn cafeteria waste into saleable compost by depositing cafeteria waste in bins full of worms and compost. They will build nine new raised beds at Valley Elementary and host three trainings during the year for area schools and the public about the “how-to’s” and benefits of composting. They will video at least one workshop.

Partners include: Fayette County Solid Waste Authority, Fayette County Resource Coordinator’s Office, Fayette County Board of Education – Farm to School, Mt. Hope Elementary School, WVU Tech Upward Bound, and Valley Elementary School.

Project Lead: Gabriel Peña,


Food in Place (High Five):

The Fayette County SALS after-school program will add a greenhouse to its community garden and build three handicapped-accessible raised beds. In the fall, they will present two classes on preservation of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy cooking to community members. They will open their outdoor track weekly to the community and allow the public to participate in indoor activities in cold weather.

Partners: Fayette County SALS (Southern Appalachian Labor School), Jarvis Hardware, Fayette Co. Farmers Market, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, and Davis Tire & Muffler.

Project Lead: John David,


Making Mt. Hope a Bicycle Friendly Community:

This team will create a Mt. Hope Bike Club and hold two bicycle education events, including a bike rodeo. They will install at least one bike rack and a bicycle repair station for public use in Mt. Hope. They will apply for Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists so they can receive a list of the further steps the town needs to take, to receive that designation. Partners include: Active Southern West Virginia, West Virginia Connecting Communities, Fayette County Living Well Workgroup, New River Health Association, City of Mt. Hope, and Energy Express.

Project Lead: Andy Davis,


NRGLC Community Service Program:

The New River Gorge Learning Cooperative will hire a VISTA who will work with NRGLC staff to develop the Community Service Program (identifying and securing organizational partnerships, setting up programmatic systems, organizing transportation, etc.) They will organize one service opportunity per month for NRGLC students for the 10 months of the 2016-2017 school year that relates to physical activity and healthy eating. Partners include: New River Gorge Learning Cooperative, Fayette County FRN, Active Southern West Virginia, Plateau Action Network, and the Fayette County Solid Waste Authority.

Project Lead: Jenny Becksted-Smith,




Gilmer County Elementary School Playground:

This team will organize healthy competitions among faculty and staff at Gilmer County Elementary and start a ‘Wild Cat Running Club.’  Students in the club will train for and participate in the West Virginia Folk Festival 5k in Glenville in June. This team will also construct a new playground at the newly-built Gilmer County Elementary School where students will play in minimum 15-minute increments, a total of one hour per day, during the school day. Outside of school days, the community will be encouraged to use the playground under a Shared Use agreement. Partners include: Gilmer County Elementary School, Glenville Elementary PTO, Gilmer County Health Dept., WVU Extension Service, Gilmer County Board of Education, Gilmer County FRN, and Girl Scout Troop #32394.

Project Lead: Marissa Fox,



Physical Activity Leadership Program:

This team will identify community members to be certified by the American Academy to teach exercise classes. The Greenbrier Avenue Church of God will purchase exercise equipment and provide space for a 20-week winter exercise program in the community, in the aftermath of the flood. Participants will be given a pre/post survey to assess overall wellness and energy level and to assess program effectiveness from beginning to end. Each community member certified in exercise training will agree to teach a class in the Western Greenbrier County area for a minimum of one year following certification beginning at the end of the 20-week program at the GACOG. Partners include: Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Greenbrier Ave Church of God, WVU Institute for Community & Rural Health, Greenbrier County WOW Partnership, Western Greenbrier Ministerial Association, the Town of Rainelle, and the Greenbrier County Health Alliance.

Project Lead: Betty Critch,



Project Journey: Dirt Made Our Meal!:

This project team will level three donated parcels of land for a community garden that will provide produce for the community.  The team will engage local Master Gardeners, community volunteers and students from the Christian Center to plant vegetables, flowers and maintain the community garden. They will offer the community ongoing educational seminars on the nutrient cycle and the connection between healthy soils, healthy foods, and healthy people. Partners include: Weirton Christian Center, City of Weirton, Brooke Hancock FRN, Tri-State Master Gardeners, WVU Extension, and WV Master Gardeners.

Project Lead: Clemmie Frierson,



Get on It! Harrison Rail Trails:

The rail trail team will host weekly and monthly trail runs, walks, strolls, and bike rides throughout the year to increase the usage of Harrison County rail trails. They will also improve one trailhead by constructing benches and a mini-garden during a community work day. All trail users, neighbors, and community members will be invited to a workshop to help complete a Harrison County Trail System Masterplan. Partners include: Harrison Rail Trails, Inc., Harrison County Planning Dept., National Park Service -Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center, Imagination Station Child Care Center, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, and the Station Child Care Center.

Project Lead: Diana Druga,



Outdoor Learning Environment Above Scale Model Ant Colony:

Kenna Elementary will install two large climbing ants for its anthill-themed outdoor playground. The team will engage local students and volunteers from Kenna Succeeders 4-H group, Kinder Kare day care, Kenna Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, and Calvary United Methodist Church to prepare the site around the new ants. They will host an opening for schools and childcare centers and a public openhouse to showcase their outdoor learning environment and let the community know that the area is open to the public through a  Shared Use agreement.

Partners: Friends of Kenna, Kenna Elementary PTO, KinderCare, Kenna Succeeders 4H Club, and Calvary United Methodist Church.

Project Lead: Deanna Cunningham,


Disc Golf Revitalization Project:

This team – including members of the Mid-Ohio Valley Disc Golf Club – will install a disc golf course (seven baskets) at Cedar Lakes Conference Center and host a free community tournament in fall 2016 for 60+ participants, to unveil the course. Partners include: Mid-Ohio Valley Disc Golf Club, Cedar Lakes, Jackson County Health Department, Jackson Signs, and Americorps VISTA.

Project Lead: Joshua Donohew,



CAMC Walk with a Doc / Nature Trail Construction:

A Charleston Area Medical Center team will create this model project for hospitals that want to sponsor preventative community programs. They will host monthly 45-minute physician-led Walk with a Doc. They will also build two 1/2 mile trails for the Alum Creek community and a walking path at Hudson Soccer Field in Sissonville. The team will also lead exercise classes to 200 students & 33 staff at Alum Creek Elementary School 2 times a week throughout the school year. Partners include: CAMC, Alum Creek Alliance for Community Development, Boy Scouts, Greater Sissonville Development Council, Sissonville Soccer League, Kanawha County Commission, Delegate Nancy Guthrie, and Alum Creek Elementary.

Project Lead: Anna Lucas,


Community Garden Arts is on the Way!:

The youth of the East End Resource Center’s after-school program will manage this community garden. They will build and plant five new pallet garden beds to grow fresh produce to be served at monthly family nights. The free monthly events, open to the community, will include physical activities and arts and crafts. Partners include: East End Family Resource Center, Resurrection Church, Boy Scout Troop 31, West Virginia State University, and the Human Resource Development Foundation, Inc.

Project Lead: Michael Farmer,


Eastern Kanawha County Healthy Folks Coalition:

This group will host four community conversations and weekly ‘Chat n Chew’ events with residents of Eastern Kanawha County to focus on how to live healthier lives. Other activities will include a walking challenge logging a collective total of at least 2,500 miles, one workshop on canning fruits and vegetables, and two basic gardening workshops. Partners include: Upper Kanawha Valley Sports and Activity Center, Marmet Community Watch, Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement, Connecting Communities, WV WISEWOMAN, WV Community Development Hub, Delegate Nancy Guthrie, and the Marmet Bucket Brigade.

Project Lead: Barbara Miller,


Garden to Go:

Members of this Charleston-based team will start four community gardens – one church group, one school garden, one senior center, and one community group – and distribute Garden-to-Go planters to community members through the groups to garden at home. The team aims to create a statewide model. They will also host workshops around WV training communities on how to start Garden-to-Go projects. Partners include: Garden to Go, Bible Center Church, Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Montessori School, and CreateWV.

Project Leads: Thom Worlledge, / Das Menon,


High School Healthy Makeover:

Students in the George Washington High School Healthy Living Club will install filtered water dispensers which will give students and visitors unlimited access to clean water. They will also try to increase the number of lunches sold to students throughout this year by creating a campaign for more appealing food. They will provide fresh herbs and greens for the school salad bar from their garden. Each month, they will meet with an advisor to set goals for that month. Partners include: George Washington High School, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, WVU Extension, WV Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition, Healthy Kids Inc., Kanawha County Schools, and Dewey and Associates.

Project Lead: Louie Cassis,


Motivating Healthy Lifestyle Change Through Social Media:

This team will create a social media campaign for CAMC Family Care teenage patients that will include monthly healthy cooking recipe videos and challenges.  They will organize Obesity Prevention/Motivational Interviewing sessions led by Dr. Jamie Jeffrey for at least 24 medical residents (Pediatric, Med-Peds and all Family practice residents). They will recruit at least three patients to serve on local county or school wellness committees aimed at helping improve school wellness policies. Partners include: Charleston Area Medical Center, CAMC FamilyCare Children’s Medicine Center, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Healthy Kids Inc., and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Project Leads: Dr. Kimberly Cross, / Dr. Eshan Samuel,


Project LEAP:

This team will host an eight-week fitness camp for  youth, offer nutrition education classes for youth and adults, and host their first annual ‘Community Day of Play’ at Southmoore Hills and Vista View low-income housing projects. Partners include: Southmoore Hills, Vista View Apartments, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, WVU Extension, City of South Charleston, Dream Chasers Mentoring Program, Unicare Health Plan of WV, University of Wisconsin, Ten South Management.

Project Leads: Cathliene Gripper, / Staci Ponder,

WV RebelFit:

This project will develop a network of alternative fitness/ movement arts instructors and people interested in those activities. They will conduct ‘Extraordinary Movement Zones’ at a minimum of 12 fairs or festivals between June 2016 and May 2017 to let people try out hula hooping, tai chi, belly dancing,  and more. They will create a functioning website with text and photos that will make it easier for people to find and try out these activities. Partners include: The Blank Slate Inc., Samadhi LLC, Mid-Ohio Valley Multicultural Festival Inc., Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement, Old World Investments LLC, Tranquil Massage and Aromatherapy, Bint il Nahar, Tribal Desires, Chemical Valley Rollergirls, Swagg Studio, and S.H. Kang’s Tae Kwon Do Academy.

Project Lead: Talia Rhyne,



Creating Two Urban Orchards in Weston:

Weston will soon be home to two urban orchards. They will grow 500 pounds of apples, pears, cherries, nuts for the local food pantries, health department, and farmers market in the next three years. This team will organize three workshops for local 4-H, FFA, and elementary students on the production of orchards, led by the Lewis County WVU Extension agent and collaborating with the local health department. Partners include: Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, the City of Weston, WVU Extension, Lewis County Health Department, Sodexo, WV Water, Lewis County Food Pantry, Lewis County Christian Alliance, and KEYS 4 HealthyKids.

Project Lead: Nastausha Hefner,



Big Ugly Creek: the World is Our Playground:

Children in this isolated Lincoln County community will soon enjoy a natural playground that includes a natural slide built into a hill, a series of tunnels, and music stations made of recycled materials. The team will be integrating their current walking trail and outdoor equipment into their plans.  This project will add five play stations to the community center outdoor playground, available to the whole community. Partners include: Big Ugly Community Center, Earlham Bonner Scholars Program, Family Worker Farm, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Step by Step, and Three Trees Design and Landscaping.

Project Lead: Megan Pate,


Creative Cooking:

Lincoln County families will attend a free four-week healthy cooking class.  Each family will receive groceries and recipes after each two-hour cooking class and will be given a $20 voucher for their local Farmers Market at the last class. The Farmers Market will provide produce for the class and will be on-site with a demo during the last class. Partners include: Lincoln County Family Resource Network, WV Extension, Lincoln County High School, Cabell-Huntington Health-Department, United Way of the River Cities, and Centerpoint Church.

Project Lead: Audrey Robinette,


Healthy Foods, Healthy Young Lincoln / Logan Families (LINCOLN & LOGAN COUNTIES):

Lincoln and Logan county residents will attend workshops on infant and toddler food preparation, gardening and food preservation. They will be mentored by veteran gardeners through Grow Appalachia. They will also take part in a family-friendly assessment of their healthy and unhealthy food consumption patterns. The team will train local providers to engage young families in healthy food preparation, gardening and food preservation. Partners include: Grow Appalachia Lincoln County, American Friends Service Committee, Big Ugly Community Center, Grow Appalachia Logan County, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Lincoln County Health Department, Logan County Schools, Lincoln County Partners in Prevention, Step by Step, Team for WV Children, and WVU Extension.

Project Lead: Marcelle St. Germain,


West Hamlin UMC & Go Getters 4H Club Multipurpose Park:

Thanks to this team, the West Hamlin community will enjoy a multi-purpose park for its community, including a softball field and community garden plots. The garden will help supply fresh vegetables and produce to feed needy families. The Try This project provides seed money. Partners include: West Hamlin United Methodist Church, Lincoln County Go Getter 4H Club, Hamlin Town Council, Lincoln County Board of Education, Town of West Hamlin, Lincoln County FRN, WVU Extension, Lincoln County Primary Care Center, Lincoln County Pre-K thru 8, Alum Creek Alliance, and Wyoming County FRN.

Project Lead: Clayton Alford,


Outdoor Fitness Equipment:

This team will build and install six pieces of outdoor fitness equipment. They will engage local labor unions to construct the fitness equipment, local construction companies for use of tools and equipment to install the fitness equipment, and local garden club members to landscape around the new fitness equipment. Partners include: City of Point Pleasant, Dixon Electric, Point Pleasant Bike Trail, Stephen Handley – Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and local labor unions.

Project Lead: Gabe Roush,



Mineral Co Mountain Milers Monthly 5K Walk/Run:

This team will organize monthly 5k events between September 2016 and August 2017, helping local residents build a running habit. The 5Ks will take place in at least five different towns/communities and will provide healthy snacks/drinks.  They will engage at least four different church organizations in two church challenge events. Partners include: WVU Medicine – Potomac Valley Hospital, New Creek Primary School, Keyser Kiwanis, Mineral County FRN, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Keyser Area Ministerial Association, The Blackrock Resort, Potomac State College, E & S Fabrics, and Aaron’s.

Project Lead: Patricia Barbarito,



Fun Active Mingo (FAM) Network:

This Mingo County team will hire a full-time VISTA worker to organize monthly student-led physical activity challenges at three public schools. These activities will be organized by a student leadership committee, in collaboration with ABLE Families after-school programming, American Friends Service Committee after-school programming, the STOP Coalition-sponsored activities and the Healthy in the Hills physical activity schedule. Partners include: American Friends Service Committee, Williamson Health & Wellness, Step By Step, STOP Coalition of Mingo County, ABLE Families, Girls & Guys Leading Our World, Mingo County Department of Health and Human Resources, Center on Excellence in Women’s Health, Tug Valley Road Runners Club, Tug Valley High School, and Kingdom Harvest Church.

Project Lead: Liz Brunello,



Let’s Get Moving, Richwood!:

In the wake of the disastrous July flood, this team will work to restore the use of Richwood City Park and Dain Park play areas, area Rails Trails, and Richwood City Pool. They plan to build a small pier that will help local people fish, boat and engage in water sports at Dain Park. They will also create a walking club for Pratt Park, led by Walking Captains. Partners include: City of Richwood, Richwood Chamber of Commerce, Blueprint Team, Richwood City Pool, Richwood City Parks, Starting Points, and WVSU Extension.

Project Lead: Mary Jane Williams,



Dinner in a SNAP:

Parents who don’t have much free time to cook healthy food will love this project. They will learn how to use a crockpot to create delicious meals with fresh, local, organic produce, meals that cook while they work. Participants will be busy single parents who receive SNAP benefits, working parents or grandparents raising grandchildren. They will make healthy crockpot meals to take home and serve at home. Each family will get a free crockpot and all produce/supplies.  After the eight-week course, all SNAP participants will transition to a SNAP-Match program, in which all produce at the Grow Ohio Valley Mobile Market will be half-off. Partners include: Grow Ohio Valley, Northern Community College Culinary Department, Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center, WVU Extension, Laughlin Memorial Chapel, and the House of Hagar.

Project Lead: Kate Marshall,



Wheeling Health Right and Grow Ohio Valley will team up for a research project that tracks the impact of fresh food on 30 Health Right patients.  The 30 patients will participate in an 18-week program that gives them weekly classes about healthy food, nutrition, and cooking. All participants will get weekly $20 vouchers for healthy food from Grow Ohio Valley. The medical team will monitor the health progress of participants through pre- and post-lab work and patient food journals. All participants will receive a sauté pan, colander, knives and cutting board. Partners include: Wheeling Health Right, Grow Ohio Valley, and WVU Extension Service.

Project Lead: Amanda Cummins,


Neighborhood Center Hydroponics Living Wall (MARSHALL & OHIO COUNTIES):

With the help of Grow Ohio Valley, Wheeling Jesuit Students will build 5’ X 5’ long indoor vertical hydroponics systems in the activity room at Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center to supply fresh, organic vegetables year-round for the food pantry and for meals delivered and served on-site. The students will also provide Neighborhood Center clients with educational instruction on hydroponic gardening. Students will create a “how-to” blog with pictures, so other communities can replicate the project. Partners include: Catholic Charities, Parish Social Ministry, Wheeling Jesuit University, Appalachian Institute, Grow Ohio Valley, WVU Extension, Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, and the Congregation of St. Joseph.

Project Lead: Andrea Staron,


Bike Rodeo and Bike Club:

This project team will start a bike club at Marlinton Middle School, providing bikes and helmets to those who participate. The middle-schoolers will take weekly group rides after school – two rides a week in warmer months.  A summer bike rodeo event will teach bicycle safety and will include an obstacle course and a bike decorating contest. Partners include: Pocahontas County Board of Education, Marlinton Middle School, Pocahontas FRN, and DirtBean Hale.

Project Lead: Jean Srodes,


Gaga Pits and Tetherball Courts:

This project team will establish a wellness team at every Pocahontas County school and will equip those schools with their own gaga pit (painted in school colors) along with instruction. The middle schools and high school will also get a tetherball court installed by local student and community volunteers. Partners include: Pocahontas County Schools, Pocahontas County FRN, Pocahontas County High School, and Marlinton Middle School.

Project Lead: Stephen Mick,


Running/Walking/Fitness Trail:

This team will build a running, walking, and fitness trail from Linwood Community Daycare to Linwood Community Garden and back, a loop of 5,490 feet, just over one mile. This team will install three exercise stations along the way: a balance beam, a sit-up station and a push-up station. They will plan three community events utilizing the path and engage 50 people to participate in the 100 Miles 100 Days sponsored by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.Partners include: Linwood Community Daycare, Grow Appalachia, Linwood Alive, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Marlinton Middle School, Linwood Community Library, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, and WVSU Extension.

Project Lead: Marita Dragan,



Bright Knight Cooking Academy:

At least 60 after-schoolers and at least 25 of their parents will complete a bi-monthly healthy cooking class. The participants will also learn to set up, plan a conversation, prepare, serve and clean up a family dinner. Partners include: Food For Preston, WVU Extension, Preston County Schools, and Fellowsville Elementary School.

Project Lead: Tammy Laney,




Promoting a Healthy Community through Public Art:

This team will build and install one sculptural bicycle arch at the trail head of McManus Trail to promote trail use, three creative/sculptural bike racks in downtown Beckley to promote and encourage cycling. They will paint one active/fitness themed mural at the local YMCA to promote physical activity and community development, and will build three garden trellises for the youth community garden and McManus Trail to promote gardening and youth involvement. Partners include: WVSU Extension,  New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Downtown Beckley Business Association, City of Beckley, Beckley Events,  Active Southern WV, MUSTER Community Transformation Project, Independence Middle School, United Way SWV, YMCA, Beckley Beatification Committee, New River Community and Technical College, and the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority.

Project Lead: Christine Kinder,



Bicycle Pedestrian Connections:

This project will produce 5,000 maps to introduce designated bike routes that connect parks, schools, and neighborhoods. They will distribute them to schools, churches, the YMCA and other family-friendly sites. They will host an inaugural event to introduce the bike route to riders and walkers and involve all schools and parks on the route. The team will launch a program to include biking, running, or walking activities during their first six First Friday events in 2017. They will continue working to meet their goal of 1,000 “likes” on their Healthy Elkins page. Partners include: Elkins Main Street, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, City of Elkins, Elkins Parks & Recreation Commission, Highlands Trail Foundation, and Generation Randolph County WV.

Project Lead: Karen Carper,



Flemington Playground Expansion: Build It Because They Are Coming Anyway!:

This team will recruit local volunteers to install a new Geo Dome to its community playground. They will host a groundbreaking celebration this fall. Partners include: Taylor County FRN, Taylor County Schools, Taylor County Partners in  Prevention, Taylor County Starting Points, Taylor County Project HOP2E, BB&T Bank, and Leer Mine Complex.

Project Lead: Cathy Coontz-Griffith,

Kayaking the Tygart to a Healthier Tomorrow:

This team will purchase new kayaks, life vests, and paddles so Grafton-area residents can paddle the Tygart. They will create a kayak club and recruit All Aboard Grafton volunteers to man the access points and help maintain the kayaks. A certified kayak instructor will teach classes in warm weather. They will create two access points: The first will be below the spillway of Tygart Dam located in the City Park and a second approximately two miles downstream. Partners include: Taylor County Project HOP2E, All Aboard Grafton, City of Grafton, Arts and Treasures, WVU Extension, Taylor County FRN, and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Project Lead: Bryan Smith,


Taylor County Kids are Ready to be Outdoor Explorers!:

Every child at the Little Feet Daycare Center get at least one hour of outdoor play each day, and this team will create a natural learning environment and garden. All parents will receive educational materials and opportunities to learn recommended amounts of outdoor playtime, the importance of outdoor play and the center’s outdoor learning policies. Little Feet Daycare will partner with Sunbeam Child Care to host two open-houses/seminars to showcase natural learning environments at childcare centers. Partners include: Little Feet Daycare and Preschool, WVU Extension, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, Three Trees Designs, Taylor County Health Department, Expert Tree Trimming and Removal LLC, and Hardcore Hunters.

Project Leads: Julie Dowdy & Rebecca Markley,


Davis Riverfront Park Natural Playground:

This team will construct a natural playground along the Davis riverfront park and organize a weekly playgroups to utilize the playground.  Two workshops will be offered for regional city councils, parks and recreation boards and other community stakeholders to educate them about natural playgrounds. Partners include: Farmer and Artisan Regional Market (FARM), Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative, Tucker Community Foundation, White Grass Touring Center, Town of Davis, and the Tucker County CVB and Chamber of Commerce.

Project Lead: Cory Chase,



Buckhannon Community Garden:

The Buckhannon community garden team will expand their beautiful community garden by 10 raised beds, add a storage shed and extend water access to the beds.  They will host at least two community workshops and donate produce for the Parrish House.  The Buckhannon Community Garden will work with West Virginia Wesleyan College to start a Buckhannon gardening collaborative. Partners include: Create Buckhannon, Upshur County CVB, The Parrish House, WV Wesleyan College, and the City of Buckhannon.

Project Leads: Buck Edwards, / Laura Meadows,


The Wesleyan Greenhouse Effect:

This team will build one new 26’ x 48’ high tunnel greenhouse on West Virginia Wesleyan Campus, host one “Healthy Meals” cooking demonstration per month, offer a “How to Grow a Greenhouse on Your Campus” workshop at a multi-college conference. They will offer a workshop for WVWC students and Buckhannon residents on the topic of “A Greenhouse in the Community.” They will host the Child Development Center of Central WV in weekly visits to the greenhouse with educational and hands-on activities and will develop a Buckhannon area gardening collaborative with the Buckhannon Community Garden minigrant team. Partners include: WV Wesleyan College, WVWC Service Scholars and WE LEAD, Aladdin Dining Services, Child Development Center of Central WV, Upshur Cooperative Parish, and First Presbyterian Church.

Project Lead: LeeAnn Brown,


Elizabeth Community Gardens:

This community team will turn a vacant lot in the center of Elizabeth into a community garden equipped with wheelchair-accessible beds. The garden will donate 250 pounds of fresh produce to the local food pantry, the Hope Shop. Ten families will each be provided two 4’ x 4’ garden kits and offered two gardening and nutrition classes to extend the project impact beyond the community garden. Partners include: Community Resources Inc., Master Gardeners, WVU Extension, WV USDA, Wirt County Senior Center, Wirt County Hardware, Hometown Help, Wirt County Ministerial Alliance – Hope Shop Food Pantry, Wirt County FRN – Healthy Families Coalition, Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department, and Wirt County Garden Club.

Project Lead: Amy Snodgrass,



The RX Community Gardens Project:

This project will build a community garden with at least six raised beds and one outdoor classroom. Thirty people suffering from substance abuse living at The Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home will learn to grow and prepare their own food. Each must attend six gardening / food prep classes and contribute one hour a week each toward maintaining the garden. Partners include: Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home Inc., the Good Shepherd Church, WVHFC Inc., WVU Extension, KISRA – Paradise Farms, Jackson County Master Gardeners, Mother Earth Foods, Jim Leach LC, J&J Property Development, and MAD in the MOV.

Project Lead: J Morgan Leach,



This project team will organize healthy physical and/or nutritional activities for more than 300 Wyoming SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) members.  They will engage 200 community members in walking/running activities, expand SADD’s Got POWER youth coalition by 15 members, and add at least 10 new youth to the martial arts and other physical activities at the Wyoming SADD youth center. They will create a mobile activity van to go to rural communities with positive prevention messages and physical activities. Partners include: Wyoming County Students Against Destructive Decisions, Wyoming County FRN, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Wyoming County FRC

Project Lead: Kathy Brunty,

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