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An introduction to Try This ™
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Parkersburg has added bike racks, bike lanes, colored crosswalks, trails and has even established an alternative transportation council to get more pedestrians and bicyclists onto the street. And once a year, when the city closes some streets to cars, local groups get into the act! (photo, courtesy The OPAM)   This Web site is packed with hundred of do-able, practical ideas and great West Virginia...

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Minigrants! Minigrants!
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   It’s up to us!      Project by project, we can create healthier communities …  and have fun doing it! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Second Stage grant applications: Due December 15. Application Scoring sheet Questions? Contact Questions? Contact Stephen@ourfuturewv.com or kate_long@hotmail.com. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Minigrants: 153 healthy-community projects in 3 years!  (Want to know how to apply? Scroll down past the minigrant list.)      2014-15 list 2015-16 list           ...

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Create a watershed association to protect and promote streams
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West Virginians have formed more than 70 watershed associations, most small. The biggest groups – Cheat River Watershed Association, the Coal River Group and Deckers Creek Watershed Association – have staff and headquarters. They sponsor regular paddling trips and special events such as paddling festivals, runs along the river, children’s river festivals. They advocate for water quality with local, state and federal government and...

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Map your community’s walking/running/hiking trails
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  Several West Virginia communities have created maps of the waking/running/hiking/biking/ cross-country skiing trails in their area. They hand maps out to local residents and put them in their tourism/economic development package to draw people looking for a relaxing outdoor experience. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department mapped all the hiking and biking trails in its six-county area. Huntington-area bike commuters have mapped the safest biking routes....

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Paddle and row the rivers and lakes
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“West Virginia has beautiful rivers, and I’ve got grandparents on both sides who died of heart disease, so I’m determined not to get it,” Brent Samples of Charleston said. Among other things, he hits West Virginia rivers with his kayak whenever he can. Samples is not alone in his enthusiasm for paddling. West Virginia has some of the best paddling in the East, and...

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Encourage food preservation
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Every year, Margo Davis of Rock Cave preserves a cellar full of vegetables, fruits, and meats. “Most of our great-grandmas knew how to do it all,” she said. If you freeze, cure, smoke, pickle or otherwise preserve fresh food, you can eat well all year round and save money in the process, she said. “But most people don’t know how to do it anymore....

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Encourage bike commuting / Make a safe biking map.
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Huntington city planner Breanna Shell wants to make Huntington a Biking city with a capital B. She decided bike commuters – including her – should have an easily-available map of the friendliest, safest bike routes. “It’s important for the map to show roads that have wider lanes and less traffic, good surfaces,” she told WV Public Radio. She wanted people to know that, “although...

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Attract kids to healthy foods by attractive presentation
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Kids started eating more at lunch after Lincoln County’s Midway School switched to brightly-colored trays, principal Cheryl Workman observed. “People don’t realize, but many kids choose their food by the way it looks,” she said. “We go to a lot of effort to cook nutritious food from scratch, so we do whatever we can to make it look attractive.” The same thing goes for...

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Get kids jumping rope.
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It doesn’t cost much to jump rope. Dozens of  West Virginia schools now have jump rope teams. Some compete with each other. At Cabell County’s Martha Elementary, for instance, more than fifty 3rd through 5th-graders are on a jump rope team that competes in a league with six to eight other schools. In fact, Parkersburg native Tori Boggs, is now the world jump-rope champion! And the Jump...

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Encourage bike stores
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“If you want people to ride bikes, it helps to have a bike store,” said Lewisburg’s Hill and Holler Bicycle Works owner Merrick Tracy. Bike stores often repair bikes and offer community programs. In 2000, there were less than 10 bike stores in West Virginia. Now there are about four dozen. “West Virginia is an ideal place to bike, and we’d like to get...

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Promote home gardening
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As late as the 1950s, most West Virginians raised a garden.  By the year 2000, after processed foods saturated the market, only about a third of West Virginians raised a garden, and gardens were smaller, according to the American Gardening Association. Now the number is rising again. “People are starting to understand how harmful processed food can be to your health,” said Mira Danilovich, who directs...

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2015 Breakout session list: Try This conference
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      Try This …. and this … and this … and this … A smorgasbord of affordable, do-able ways to create healthier communities wait for you in Buckhannon, June 5 – 6!  More than 100 of West Virginia’s most savvy presenters have volunteered their time to help create a healthier West Virginia. What a team! Full schedule here. Register here.   Friday,...

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The 2016 Breakout Session List:  Try This Conference
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  Try This …. and this … and this … and this … A wonderful smorgasbord of affordable, do-able ideas are waiting for you in Buckhannon, June 3 – 4!  More than 120 of your fellow West Virginians are volunteering their time to pack your head with healthy-community ideas! West Virginians trading ideas! Community by community, we’re creating a healthier state!     Full...

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A wonderful year in 2015-16
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Here’s the list of 2015-16 projects: $102,000 to 53 community teams.    Barbour County   Green Thumbs, Dirty Hands and Healthy Kids. Master Gardeners will pair with a PreK-8 school to create a garden that grows produce for the school cafeteria. Children will track production and learn about healthy eating. About 200 students will harvest six 4’x8’ raised vegetable garden beds. They will chart growth,...

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