Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 1:11 PM
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 12:55 PM
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Blue Earth Area Schools Physical Education department struggled for years to find ways to incorporate the outdoor curriculum component to their PE class, especially in the brutal Minnesota winters. That all changed when the school district utilized SHIP funding to purchase snow shoes back in 2010-11. With the abundance of snow this year, students swapped their gym shoes for snowshoes and hit the trails at local Steinberg Park in Blue Earth. Brenda Smith, the middle school PE teacher at Blue Earth Area Schools explains, “Without these snowshoes purchased by SHIP, we really didn’t have a lot of options for fulfilling our outdoor curriculum requirement in the winter months. These snowshoes introduce students to an activity they might otherwise not get to experience.” In addition to utilizing the snowshoes through physical education, they can also be rented for $5 per weekend through Community Education at the school for community use. According to Dar Holmseth, Community Education Director at BEA Schools, “After using these snowshoes in physical education class, we have had a lot of community interest in rentals. Many parents came in telling me that their student came home talking about how much fun they had and asking their parents to check them out. As a result, we have had snowshoes checked out nearly every weekend this winter!”
The Faribault County Register ran a great story featuring this project and how it has impacted not only the school children but also the community! Way to go Blue Earth Area Schools!
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 7:26 AM
Friday, February 7, 2014
In SHIP 2, a local group formed to develop priorities for advancing and promoting healthy and locally grown foods in a five county area. This group worked to develop a local foods resolution with plans to present at each of the five county boards. The team included representation from local growers, concerned citizens/parents, county commissioners, dieticians, seniors and others who were invested in advancing healthy, locally grown foods in our communities. The group worked over the course of year to identify priorities and develop the resolution. During SHIP 2, the resolution was presented and passed in Faribault, Martin, Cottonwood and Jackson Counties. With the start of SHIP 3, the primary goal was to present the resolution to stakeholders in Watonwan County. Working with representation from the Food Policy Council and the board chair for the Watonwan County Human Services Board, we were able to allocate time on the agenda during both November and December meetings. At the November board meeting, the board previewed the film, A Place at the Table, a documentary overviewing food insecurity and obesity in the United States. The use of the documentary helped local stakeholders identify with similar issues happening locally and signified the need for local policy to influence healthy food access. At the December meeting, the Local Foods Resolution was presented and unanimously adopted by board members.
The adoption of the local foods resolution was an important first step in creating a healthy food environment for our communities. It also signifies the important role SHIP has in helping to increase access to locally grown foods for our community members.
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 11:44 AM
|Before the street renovation|
The Wells Active Living Coalition (WALC) has been a grateful recipient of mini-grants in SHIP 1, 2 and now 3. The work that was begun with an MDH Walkability Workshop in December of 2009 laid the groundwork that recently became visible in the first “complete street” in the City of Wells.
When WALC learned that the county was reconstructing a main access street in Wells the team went to work to learn what they could do to insure the street was safer, more accessible and easier to use for everyone, a complete street.
The WALC team took pictures of the existing sidewalks, which zig zagged from side to side and were nonexistent at places and presented their vision for a better way to the Wells City Council. Working with the county engineer, and the city engineer, the City determined that this was indeed a possibility and a worthwhile investment for the City to make.
The effect on safety
showed immediate results when the new street was opened to the community this
Fall. Young parents who were pushing
strollers down the street, or even on Hwy 109 just a block over, were now able to
cover the entire 3 blocks with the uninterrupted and accessible sidewalk
located on the North side of the street.
Away from a processing plant with potentially high truck traffic and off
of the highway the new street affords safe access for all modes of transportation. What was once a hodgepodge of interrupted and
unsafe sidewalks on a busy connecting road is now a safe and attractive model
for city planning and future reconstruction and sidewalk projects?
|Before the street renovation|
|After completion of the renovation project|
In the future it is hoped that Wells will be a healthier community that encourages a healthy lifestyle for all. The impact of planning now will provide long term benefits.
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 11:43 AM
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Local wellness efforts receives boost from Statewide Health Improvement Program grant
SHIP works to build a foundation of good health for all Minnesotans.
"SHIP is the most successful program I have been involved with that brings the community together. This has truly been a success for Watonwan County," says John Baerg, former Watonwan County Commissioner and current SHIP Community Leadership Team Member.
Launched in 2008 as part of Minnesota’s bipartisan health reform effort, SHIP works to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives while building healthy, vital communities. SHIP encourages healthy eating, active living and avoiding commercial tobacco by working with school, communities, workplaces, and healthcare to make healthy choices easier. Statewide, the 2013 legislature supported SHIP with $35 million for fiscal year 2014 and 2015, and now SHIP funding will be available statewide once again. When SHIP began four years ago, it was statewide with $47 million over two years; however, in 2012 and 2013 SHIP received a 70 percent cut and the 15 million allocated only covered about half the state, which included Faribault, Martin & Watonwan Counties.
“We’ve been fortunate to have continued SHIP funding since the program began,” says Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP Coordinator Chera Sevcik, “We are excited to have this opportunity to take our ideas and work to the next level.”
Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP will be able to begin new projects across the region, while continuing its existing community health improvement work, such as:
· Working with the Active Living Coalitions in Blue Earth, Wells, Butterfield, St. James, and Madelia to implement policies and practices that create active communities by increasing opportunities for walking and biking.
· Partnering with our local school districts to improve healthy eating & physical activity during the school day for both students and staff.
· Partnering with multi-unit housing managers/owners to adopt and implement smoke-free policies inside apartment complexes.
“We know from research that to really make a real, long-lasting change in the rates of physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco exposure and use, we need to help communities make it easier for their people to succeed,” says Michelle Larson, Interim Director for the Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives, the home for SHIP at MDH. “That is why working with communities has been a cornerstone of SHIP since its inception.”
Grants were awarded to community health boards across Minnesota, which are made up of one or more counties and cities. Faribault, Martin and Watonwan (FMW) Counties SHIP received both implementation and innovative grant awards, allowing our partners to build on its existing health improvement work. The implementation grants are aimed to work with communities, schools, worksites, healthcare and childcare organizations to improve opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity and reduce use of and exposure to tobacco. In addition to the implementation grant work, FMW SHIP also received two innovative grant awards. The first will be to develop a multifaceted, coordinated approach to improve the health of our senior citizens in Martin County. The project includes increasing access to healthy foods, specifically fruits and vegetables for seniors, increasing access to walking and biking and other evidence-based programs aimed to help senior citizens live longer, healthier lives in their communities. The second project is to work with the community of Madelia to implement a sugary-beverage reduction campaign, similar to what has been done in other communities around the country. This includes implementing policies and practices to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, which have been directly linked to the obesity epidemic.
“We are thrilled to continue our work we started four years ago. SHIP has meant a lot to our community, and we know we have only just begun,” said Sevcik.
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 9:50 AM
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
You can access documents from the informational meetings, health care meeting and partnership documents such as the letter of intent by clicking here!
Posted by Faribault, Martin and Watonwan Counties SHIP at 8:40 AM