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Lead photo: Big run scene, Parkersburg

Organize a community running/walking club.

More than 1,000 people have joined Parkersburg’s River City Runners and Walkers Club. All year, they have dozens of events for adults and children – including beginners’ clinics. And it’s still all volunteer-run.“We wanted to include running in the culture, and we think we’ve done that,” said Sharon Marks, longtime board member.

They love it when people from other communities come visit, to get tips for starting their own. WHAT’S THE CLUB THAT RECENTLY GOT 600 PEOPLE?

Glenville has parlayed a $3,000 grant from West Virginia on the Move into Gilmer County on the  Move, a running and walking program with hundreds of people participating…  DO THEY HAVE A SCHEDULE??  MEETINGS?

In Mingo County, the Tug Valley Road Runners Club used to have only a few big races a year. But they decided they need more regular runs, to help local residents build a habit. Now they hold a 5K every month, most of them not advertised beyond the area. “We wanted something regular for people who were just starting, to help them build the habit,” said organizer Alexis Batausa. “When there’s a 5K every month, people will run inbetween to try to break their personal record.”

Several running clubs have >

2018-19 Mini-Grant Teams

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2018-19 Mini-Grant Teams

2018-19 Mini-grant Teams by County

Barbour County

Chestnut Ridge Education & Recreation Center

This team is taking physical activity to the next level as they install doors, windows,  insulation heating, a/c systems, solar panels, and LED lighting inside a multi-sports called “The Epicenter”. The Epicenter will be a facility that provides recreational opportunities and education on physical activity.  The team will host three events at the arena in the first year of operations.  The grand opening will be in the fall, the second will be on Earth day, and the third will be on the Summer solstice. This project will be possible due to the help of 24 Alderson Broaddus University Go Give students providing 30 hours each of service work at the facility. The team will create a How-To workshop on the project displaying a playbook of activities as well as list of equipment and resources needed for other communities to replicate this project. The team will hold monthly events or activities after the facility in place.

Partners: New Vision Renewable Energy, Cabits, Glogames/MacDonald’s Boxing, Barbour County Health Department, Alderson Broaddus University, People’s Chapel, WVU School of Public Health, West Virginia Child Nutrition Program, Barbour County Ministerial Association Lead Contact: Ruston Seaman/ 304-669-2191


Philippi Super Seven Multi-Sports Arena

This team will work with Chestnut Ridge Education & Recreation Center to construct a 36’ x 36’ super seven multi-sports arena, the Epicenter.  The team will engage community youth and volunteers will help build the structure by putting 100-man hours of labor.  When the multi-sports center is set the team will complete a drawing of activities the area offers and record and share materials needed to create the super seven arena to other communities. The team will host three events at the arena in the first year of operations that includes shooting contest, cubby ball tournament, three and me tournament. 10 Alderson Broaddus Go Give students will volunteer for 30 hours each at the facility. The team will raise the additional funds to construct a tennis and volleyball court.

Partners: Philippi Rec Committee, Code Blue, Philippi Youth Basketball Players, Barbour County Health Department, Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi Youth Basketball League, Philippi Police Department, City of Philippi Maintenance Department, Barbour County Ministerial Association

Lead Contact: Stephen Iwunor / / 304-457-2971


Kasson Eagles (Everyone Accesses Great Local Exercise Safely)

By March of 2019, this team will have built a  ¼ mile walking and biking trail around the school for students, families, and community members to have a safe place to get some fresh air. The trail will be made wheelchair accessible and will include a bike rack.  The bike rack will make the school more bike accessible because students will be able to store their bikes there rather than loading them onto vehicles each time. Kasson Eagles will host one walk per month that is open to the entire community.  They will incorporate the walking and biking trail in their school curriculum or at least 1 after-school program.  This team will create a how-to guide to assist other schools and communities to replicate this trail project.

Partners: Kasson Parent Teacher Organization, WVU Extension Service, Master Gardeners, Kasson Elementary-Middle, Grandparent Volunteer Guide, Tygart Valley Trucking and Excavation, Site Liaison for Girls on the Run/Cross Country Coach

Lead Contact: Jan Coffman / / 304-457-2772


Boone County

Growing and Healing Hero House

This team will engage six residents of Hero House to assist building four new 5×5 raised beds to start vegetable gardens. Each volunteer will be putting in 3 hours of work and learn gardening skills as a part of their long-term recovery plan. By the end July 2019 the six residents will have gained skills on how-to construct garden beds, plant seeds, maintain the garden, harvest plants and process the vegetables into healthy recipes. The team will promote physical fitness at Hero House by adding three new physical fitness resources and encouraging residents to participate in physical activity for 30 minutes to 1 hour, at least 3 days a week. The team will work individually with the residents to develop a personal fitness routine that is doable for each person. The team will develop a How-to guide for working with recovery homes to support their residents in developing individual fitness routines, both while in the home and after their transition back into the community. The team will also develop a How-to guide for healthy menu plan and strategies for access to healthy foods upon the transition from a recovery home. The guide will include how to equip a home’s kitchen, helping residents read nutrition labels. The team will complete a how to guide to develop healthy cooking training for persons in recovery by hosting twelve culinary classes that focus on teaching the residents how to prepare healthy meals with as many ingredients from the garden as possible. The team will develop a How-to get your community involved in bringing awareness around drug and alcohol addiction, stigma and healing. The team will host a Day of Hope on September 15th in the community to bring awareness to the stigmas of addiction, how to cope with trauma, and bring citizens to march together in solidarity to show that they are not alone in the struggles and effects of addiction. The team will recruit at least ten volunteers for recovery projects from this event.

Partners: Hero House, WV Council of Churches, Grow Appalachia, Community members, Manna Meal, Appalachian Transition Fellowship, Step by Step Inc., Geri Olympics, Southern Fitness Gym, Big Ugly Book Project

Lead Contact:Jodi Roth / / 304-414-4452

Sherman High Reset Room

This team will develop Reset train-the-trainer curriculum that incorporates elements of yoga, chi kung, tai-chi, mindfulness, breathing techniques and progressive relaxation, and meditation.   At least 10 teachers and students will become qualified trainers by attending a workshop session.  The Reset Room will be open about 5 times per week. Over 50 students will benefit from use of the space. They will hold Reset Sessions with a trained instructor once a month that is open to the entire school community. The team will survey teachers and students that participate in the Reset Sessions and evaluate the effectiveness of the program from the beginning of the school year to the end. They will develop a “How-To” manual for other schools who would like to implement a similar project.

Partners: American Friends Service, Sherman High Staff, WV for Affordable Health Care, WV Kids Health Partnership, WV Aces Coalition, AFSC / Appalachian Center for Equality

Lead Contact: Elizabeth Brunello / / 727-455-2137


Braxton County

MF-Be Healthy

This team will register as an employer in the CDC Worksite Health Scorecard and complete the assessment by end of July 2018. The team will review results with leadership and at wellness committee meeting. The team will conduct bimonthly meetings of Wellness Committee where nutrition education and physical activities is planned to be incorporated for a total of 25 staff meetings with covering 24 new health initiatives. The team will host an exercise class each month at Mountaineer Food Bank facility immediately after working hours to draw employee participation, anticipate 50% staff participation and is opening class to the community as well. The project team will contract a biometric screener to collect health information from each employee who signs up to participate at start and end of year to measure success. The staff will engagement in setting personal monthly wellness goals and allowing work time monthly to review with accountability partner. The team will train at least 10 other food pantries on the model.

Partners: Mountaineer Food Bank, KISRA, WVU Extension

Lead Contact: Becky Conrad / / 304-364-5518


Free Community Diabetes Screening

12 HSTA students will receive a 28-hour training on diabetes prevention that includes how to take nonprescription approaches to prevention.  The training will be from 5 WVU faculty members in medicine, pharmacy, and public health. They will screen 700 community members from 6 WV counties — Braxton, McDowell, Cabell, Lincoln, Monongalia, and Marion. They will put together a local resource handout for each county including local health providers, interpretation of A1c results, and educational information. They will put together a best practice sheet on how to connect with existing healthy community events.

Partners: HSTA leaders and students, McDowell County 4H Leaders Association, WVU Faculty

Lead Contact:Summer Kuhn / / 304-282-1819


Brooke County

Brooke County Schools Garden Enhancement

This team will construct a hydroponic garden for the pre-K class at Brooke High by March 2019. They will purchase and set up 3 raised beds for Brooke Intermediate South and Brooke Primary North. Students at each of the Brooke County schools will participate in the taste tests and other Wellness projects sponsored by the health base center and WVU Brooke County Extension office. The project will teach 30% of students how to reduce risk of foodborne illness and safe harvest practices. The team will conduct onduct pre and post testing to better quantify the learners’ baseline knowledge and what they gained from their workshop participation.

Partners: Brooke County Schools, Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network, Brooke County WVU Extension

Lead Contact:Nancy Karavalos / / 304-527-2100


Cabell County

Try THIS Huntington

This week will hold obstacle courses engaging 40 children each week.  Staff and children will creatively design the obstacles courses with themes like American Gladiator. During activities, fresh fruits or vegetables will be provided as the snack to promote healthy eating. They will start a Microgreens growing program educating children on benefits of indoor gardening. The children will also be able to consume fresh micro green salads at least twice a month. It is their hope that this project will grow over time, to the point of being able to sell excess Micro Greens to local restaurants, thereby promoting entrepreneurship among the children. To continue teaching and promoting the benefits of healthy eating, the team will help children plant a mini-orchard in November which will begin producing apples, pears, peaches and plums within 2-4 years. To keep the children at the center interested in the orchard in the meantime, they will offer bi-weekly sessions where children will make fruit into fun shapes, such as animals and cars for a healthy snack. They will transport 15 children to Huntington’s Kitchen 8 times during the next year to participate in healthy cooking classes. To promote Try This and healthy lifestyles throughout neighboring communities, they will participate in at least 12 events, which are hosted by community partners. They invite community partners to host tables to distribute information on their programs and encourage them to bring information which promotes healthy lifestyles as well. They will host 6 Summers on the Terrace events in July 2018, August 2018 and June 2019 to combat summer learning loss and increase family engagement. During these events, they will serve a healthy dinner to approximately 100 people and offer fun, family activities.

Partners: Huntington WV Housing Authority, United Way of the River Cities,  Healthy Families, AETNA Better Health of West Virginia, Adolescent Health Coordinator Region 2, Valley Health, Facing Hunger Food Pantry, Gallaher Library, Cabell County Schools

Lead Contact: Shane Randolph / / 304-751-5137


Emoga: Yoga for Emotional Intelligence

This team will have students will create their very own breathing buddy that will emphasize mindfulness, relaxation, and positivity. The students will use their breathing buddy to learn focusing skills, calm down, and figure out that paying attention to their bodies help them relax. Students will monitor progress with a breathing buddy workbook that will be created by Meghan Salter and Jeannie Harrison. The students will record their feelings before and after each breathing buddy session. This will be used as an ongoing assessment to monitor how the students are able to connect with a “fuzzy friend” as a source of nourishment and comfort. Elementary students will take a field trip to Marshall University in spring 2019 to work with Marshall University Education students teaching them about the Emoga Program and the Marshall University Students will teach the elementary students about their trauma therapy dog program. The elementary students will be EQ (Emotional Quotient) ambassadors and will go on to teach the college students the mindful and movement focused activities that they have learned over the past year. Lead teachers, elementary students, and Marshall University students will also present the results of this year long project at the end of the year Cabell County Wellness Council Meeting and the Marshall University School of Professional Development Meeting. Upon completion of this project the students will become EQ (Emotional Quotient) Ambassadors. Older students will teach younger students skills that they have learned in the program. Older students will show younger students how to use a “Breathing Buddy” and will help build a breathing buddy station in at least one primary elementary classroom at their school. Each breathing buddy station will have yoga mats, bolsters, breathing buddies, and books that will be focused on mindful movement. These positive behavior support and social-emotional learning stations will help younger students achieve self-regulatory behavior, make positive connections with others, and develop self-esteem. To teach how emotional intelligence is a vital part of prevention of substance abuse later in life. Instructors will visit partner schools 1-2 times a month to implement Emoga.. Students will be administered the Adverse Childhood Experience Assessment  a research study conducted by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individual results on this assessment will determine curriculum that will be developed to address individual student needs.

Partners: Martha Elementary School, Grow Huntington and Karma Yoga Institute, Nichols Elementary 5th Grade Teach, Marshall University School of Professional Development and Education Department, Central City Elementary Special Education, Cabell County Wellness Council, Prestera Center

Lead Contact: Meghan Salter / / 304-654-4328


Hydroponics for Outreach and Education

This team will engage and educate students and the community in alternative gardening methods such as hydroponics through open, free workshops. With 5 hydroponic towers, they will grow 124 vegetable plants and 32 micro-green plants year-round. They will expand on the open, free farmers market held on the Marshall University campus to include hydroponically grown food year-round. The team will partner with Marshall University Dietetics to promote healthy eating and alternative gardening practices at 26 local elementary schools and partner with Gro Huntington to provide alternative gardening training and workshops to the general public and to those in recovery programs.

Partners: Gro Huntington, Patch 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Marshall University Graduate College, Marshall University Dietetrics

Lead Contact: Amy Parsons-White / / 304- 696-2946

Gro and Muv

This team will hold two series of ten recovery fitness classes in community centers and schools, and a series of five gardening and life skills classes. The team will reach 50 students and aim for 80% percent of students to complete program and report improvements in mental and physical health. The team will host a trauma informed recovery teacher training, demonstrating how to implement recovery-based community fitness program in Spring 2019. They will train at least 5 teachers for program sustainability.

Partners: Gro Huntington, Cabell County TAG Program, Marshall University Sustainable Development, Yoga Karma Institute, Murphy Media Inc., Recovery Point West Virginia

Lead Contact: Jeannie Harrison / / 304-546-7815


Fayette County

Farming with Solar

The team will install two 400-watt solar systems in their farm and garden and heat lamps in the high tunnel and chicken coop. They will create a duck/fish pond and install pond liner. The team will track their progress and create a “how-to” guide to share with other communities wishing to easily replicate the program. They will also conduct pre and post testing to establish baseline and ensure at least 10 students gain/increase knowledge, and integrate the program in at least one other school.

Partners: Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Southern Application Labor School, Jarvis Hardware, SALS

Lead Contact: William Austin / / 304-779-2772



Greenbrier County

WISH CENTER A Intergenerational Community Center

This team will build garden 16 plots and build covered natural playground area by the summer of 2019. The team will engage 20 students and adults in over 300 volunteer hours by helping them constructs the garden.  The natural playground will be open to the public for use, and for parents and young kids from the WISH Center. The project will engage children and family growing food in healthy cooking classes for kids and families at the WISH Center with a partnership with the WVSOM Rural Health Alliance who will provide the educational materials for this portion of the project. The goal will be to have divided classes for kids ages 6 years and older. The team will document and compile plans into a how to guide for other communities and organizations to use for community gardens, natural playground and cooking classes. They will build a partnership with WVU Public health to assist with determining assessment measures, correlating data collection and evaluating data.

Partners: WSS Farmer Market, WVU Public Health Department, Knights of Columbus, State Senator, Renick Community Center, The Hive, Greenbrier Health Alliance, Master Gardeners, WV Extension Office

Lead Contact: Martha Snider / / 204-520-2279


Resilience Building Skills for All

The project team will provide eight classes in mindful movement, body awareness, and mindfulness meditation to community members, parents and teachers in Quinwood, WV. Participants will also receive recordings of guided meditations, links to other resources online, and written descriptions of all material covered in class to enable individuals to easily use these resources in their daily lives. The team will train at the House of Hagar in Wheeling WV to provide instruction to staff in self-care, mindful movement, and simple bodywork skills to reduce stress, relief pain and decrease stress and offer information to clients.  They will provide recordings of mediation resources, written instructions of appropriate material, and resources for accessing music that is stress reducing so that these resources can be easily available for staff and clients alike. The teamw will hold eight classes in mindful movement, body awareness, and mindfulness meditation to clients and staff at the Greenbrier County Day Report Center. The team will evaluate the program through before and after class that assess the benefit and accessibility of material for participants. The team will develop a How-To guide and present/train at least three other shelters to leave behind sustainable programs.

Partners: Quinwood Town Hall, House of Hagar, Greenbrier County Day Report Center, Greenbrier County Health Alliance

Lead Contact: Lauren Wadsworth / / 304-667-2195


Mullens Food for Thought

This team will build two new 8x6x7 portable greenhouses. The project will engage ten local elementary students for 150 hours of planting, maintaining the garden, and learning how to compost at home. The teamwill give hand-out materials to the local community to teach them how to save scraps to compost and how to grow their own vegetables.

Partners: Rainelle Agricultural Learning Center, Greenbrier Health Alliance, Quinwood Town Hall, WVU Extension

Lead Contact: Cari Harper / / 304-646-9546



Hancock County

Weirton Christian Center Community Garden

This team will build a 10×12) utility shed to store gardening equipment.  The team will also construct an extended shelter from the shed to hold community organic garden workshops/events such as vegetable & flower workshops, garden food prep workshops. They will engage 100 volunteer hours through civic groups, churches, and local school clubs. The team will provide fresh vegetables & herbs to the community soup kitchen, Table of Hope, which many families in the neighborhood depend on for dinner for three days a week. The team will hold five educational workshops with the WVU Extension office of Brooke/Hancock County on gardening and fresh food prep for over 20 (children/adults) with the result of 10 community groups or families using the shed.  The team will compile a complete “Community Garden Guide” for other community gardens in the city and surrounding areas.

Partners: Brooke/Hancock Family Resource Network, WVU Extension Office Brooke and Hancock County, Tri-State Master Gardeners Association, Weirton Christian Center

Lead Contact: Deronda Bruich / / 304-748-2353


Harrison County

See It & 3D It!

JoDee Decker, NFI’s principal, has set an expectation that all teachers incorporate 3D printing into at least one class project by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. She has also committed to provide the school’s physical education teacher, Andrea Rome, the necessary time and school resources required to learn curling rules, identify applicable WV Curriculum Standards, write curling instruction lesson plans, and implement curling as club and classroom activity. Andrea Rome will introduce curling as a club activity for over thirty third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Students in the curling club will meet monthly to learn the rules and engage in physical activity by playing the sport, create supplemental equipment using our 3D print labs, and produce activity stations using purchased curling kits in combination with student-built 3D printed equipment. After learning curling during their club activities, students will teach curling to their classmates during their weekly physical education classes reaching over 500 children. Curling will be included as a fun family activity during an afterschool event to build parent and grandparent involvement. NFI students and teachers will document their progress throughout this project and complete a How-To Guide.This project combines STEAM and physical activity in an engaging, fun, innovative way.

Partners: Nutter Fort Intermediate staff, students, and parent volunteers,  Headstart, Central WV Community Action Inc., NF PTSO, Nutter Fort Primary, Harrison County Schools, Harrison County Family Resource Network, Partnerships for Success, Families Leading Change

Lead Contact: Kara J. Freeland / / 304-844-4051



Kanawha County

WELL Starts Here

This project will engage 20 community members diagnosed with pre-diabetes, diabetes and/or high blood pressure will complete the wellness inventory assessment in 6 months. Participation will be tracked, feedback on SMART goals and articles to deepen learning will be assigned. The 20 community members of this cohort with high blood pressure will participate in the American Heart Association Check It. Change It. Control It and set goals to 10% drop in blood pressure within a 6-month period. 50% of the participants will see a 10% decrease in blood glucose in a 6-month period. 70% of the community members in the cohort will be active participants attending at least 5 out of 6 monthly sessions. The project team will encourage 20 cohort participants to perform physical activity by walking at least 100 miles in 100 days ®.

Partners: KISRA, WellBeing Solutions, WVU Medicine

Lead Contact: LaTausha Taylor / / 304-395-5811


CVT Natural Play Space

This team will engage a minimum of five community members and ten 4-H volunteers totaling at least 60 community service hours to assist in building a Natural Learning Environment play space. Have 1,000 youth visit the play space for unstructured play in the first year. Host five programs in conjunction with educational events engaging at least 100 students in planting and tending the edible gardens. Create a How-to Guide by documenting the development of the space, including materials lists and editable documents such work day flyers and donation requests to help others in creating natural play spaces in their communities to be shared via flash drive.

Partners: Camp Virgil Tate, Kanawha 4-H, WVU Extension, KEYS4HealthyKids, Capital Conservation District

Lead Contact: Jason Young / / 304-550-6532


Mindfulness/Tai Chi Catalyst4Change

This team will conduct self-assessment questionnaires in a 6-week Mindfulness for Resiliency Program, in which 17 of the 25 students in the first session and 20 of the 25 students in the second session will exhibit greater pro-social behaviors, emotion regulation, mood, empathy, confidence, self-esteem, coping and social skills, with an increased focused ability to pay attention to foster academic performance psychosocial resilience. As evidence by teacher assessment tools, 23 of 25 participants in the first session and 24 of 25 students in the 2nd session will show a decrease in conduct problems, bullying traits, attention problems, test/academic anxiety to foster academic performance and psychosocial resiliency. Information and data will be gathered during each session, assessments will be completed and compiled, evaluations will be gathered and reviewed, a program manual will be developed and distributed in a way that the program can be replicated throughout the city and state.

Partners: Unicare Health Plan of WV Medicaid, Tai Chi Exchange, Chi Lin Association, Ruffner Elementary School, Mary C. Snow Westside Elementary School, Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Lead Contact: Ron Wilkerson / / 304-395-7671


Skate to Health Pilot Program

The Skate to Health Pilot Program has partnered with Charleston Family Resource Center, an afterschool program that provides free childcare, tutoring, and meals to students living in low income neighborhoods in Charleston West Virginia.  Michael Farmer, CFRC After School Director, will select over 20 students from his afterschool sites to participate in the Skate to Health program. Each training session will last approximately 2 hours. The session will begin with 15 minutes of stretching/yoga. The class will then be split into two groups. As group 1 participates in a 45 minute group lesson with a certified United States Figure Skating/Professional Skaters Association coach, group 2 will participate in a nutrition lesson and activity with Jessica Pollitt-Hudson from the WVU Family Nutrition Program. Once each group has taken the group lesson and nutrition class, we will all get back onto the ice and play a game that reinforces the skills taught in group lessons. Each student will receive a membership from the United States Figure Skating Association, Charleston Figure Skating Club. By December 2018 a “how-to” guide will be submitted, so that other communities can easily replicate the program.

Partners: Charleston Figure Skating Club, West Virginia’s Promise, WVU Family Nutrition Program, South Charleston Ice Arena, Charleston Family Resource Center

Lead Contact: Dennis Johnson / / 740-447-0502



Financial & Physical Bootcamp

This project will work with 5 youth participants aim to improve BMI level, and obesity rates from beginning to end of program by 25%. This project will show 25% improvement on youth endurance levels based on how quickly the obstacle course is completed from beginning to end of the program. The team will launch weekly boot-camps at 1 Step-By-Step afterschool program as a pilot group. The team will help 10 participants establish savings accounts with at least $100 by the end of September 2019 allowing the youth to develop lifelong financial skills. The team will partner with PTO’s/PTA’s to certify 5 parents through the National Financial Educators Council to serve as financial education instructors. The team will hold a Healthy Lifestyle and Physical Activity business plan competition with over 20 children and parent coaches split into teams. The team will create a “how-to” guide that will help other communities mimic the program.

Partners: Fun Fitness Kids Club, Families Leading Change, WV Autism, Step by Step Inc.

Lead Contact: Traci Phillips / / 304-561-7571



Lincoln County

Community Center & Park

The objective for 2018 is to create a concrete pad to be used as a picnic area and double as a basketball court. This concrete area will be 28 ft by 50 ft in length and will be later covered to provide a place for year-round use. The team will plan a monthly physical activity and healthy food activity on the pad. They will create landscaping around the outer edges of the Community Center to give it a pleasant appearance, while ensuring proper drainage and a safe place for small kids. This will give the community an appeal to tourists and will drawn outsiders to the town, thereby creating economic growth. They will create a booklet that will show how the project started and what we have done to achieve the desired results. This will include photos from start to finish and some of the ways anyone can seek funding and public support.  The team will fundraise to earn extra funds for the project and kids how to manage money and businesses. All efforts are geared toward helping create hope, while teaching charity, and building self-confidence. This booklet will be will be written by Clayton Alford with the assistance of all the individuals who have join in and helped with this project. Clayton will complete the booklet by December 31,2018.

Partners: Lincoln County WV Go-Getters 4-H Club, West Hamlin United Methodist Church, United Way of the River Cities, Branchland Lumber, Armstrong Telephone Co., Lincoln Church of God, House of Prayer Full Gospel Church, Youth Works, Federal Small Business Administration, Town of West Hamlin, Joetta McCallister CPA

Lead Contact: Clayton B. Alford / / 304-524-7985



Big Ugly Healthy Eating Playground

The team will plant six fruit trees along a walking track at the Big Ugly Healthy Eating Playground by April 2019. The team will also build five raised beds will be built for small fruits and vegetables. The team will engage 10 local students in 320 volunteer hours to assist with constructing and planting the garden. They will develop a How-To Guide, so that others can easily replicate the program.

Partners: Step by Step, WVU Extension, US Navy, CAMC, Grow Appalachia, Coalfield Development

Lead Contact: Betty Thompson / / 304-855-5402



Mason County

Paddle on Point

This team will create a digital step-by-step instructional guide to assist others who may be interested in increasing water based recreational activities in their communities, free to download, share, print and use as desired. By April 1st, 2019 3-4 Mason County Yaks members or group partners will complete training and obtain the American Canoe Association Certification. The ACA certified instructors will provide safe water and paddling instructions to others at three water recreation related events within Mason County, WV. Mason County Yaks, the City of Point Pleasant and partners will acquire a minimum of 8 kayaks and 2 paddle boards and related equipment, such as PFD’s and paddles for use at Krodel Park.

Partners: City of Point Pleasant, Mason County Yaks, Rivers to Ridges, Mason County CVB

Lead Contact: Kevin Fooce / / 304-593- 2875


McDowell County

Sandy River Farm/Market Project

This team will engage 90 children at Sandy River Middle School in food production.  5 HSTA students will become mentors for Sandy River Middle School youth. The team will build 3 additional raised beds at Sandy River Middle School in 2018 and sell $500 worth of produce at the Laeger Market.

Partners: McDowell County 4-H Leader Association, WVU Extension, Reconnecting McDowell, WVU Community Development HUB, McDowell County BOE, Sandy River Schools, McDowell County Board of Education, Laeger Farmers Market

Lead Contact: Dana Lester / / 304-436-9006


Kids and Tennis After School Program

The team will create a How-To Guide to teach other rural communities how to start an afterschool tennis program in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association. The team will engage 3 elementary schools with after school tennis programming in McDowell County. The project will provide after school tennis program activities to over 30 youth across all 3 sites.  The team will visit each school for 8 weeks. The team will build partnerships with 5 other programs and gain 10 volunteers for 100 hours total in the after school tennis program.

Partners: Grayhound Youth Sports, WVU Extension, United States Tennis Association, Reconnecting McDowell, Kimball Elementary, Pioneer Community Bank, Marden Physical Therapy

Lead Contact: Nate Smith / / 304-862-3415


Planting Tea for Recovery

This team will lead a workshop to plant 2500 tea seeds with about 30 individuals recovering from addictions in McDowell County.  The team will teach the participants gardening skills, healthy eating tips, and low-impact physical activity.  They will develop an occupational therapy curriculum related to life skills training for individuals recovering to sustain a sober lifestyle. Occupational therapy services will be provided in the form of at least 10 group sessions and 30 individual sessions for willing participants who participated in the tea planting workshop. We will develop a how-to guide for others wanting to replicate Planting Tea for Recovery.

Partners: WVCC, Reconnecting McDowell, West Virginia Community Development HUB, Concord United Methodist Church, Local Occupational Therapist, Family Resource Network

Lead Contact: Ginger Day / / 304-436-4255



Mineral County

Mineral County Healthy Lifestyles Coalition

The team will create a healthier, more organic atmosphere at 2 doctor’s offices and 1 Health Department by providing the following: placing fruit infused water in the waiting room with weekly recipes for patients to sample, providing pedometers with maps of local walking routes and trails, supplying packets of seeds with basic gardening information and class information, and  sharing a directory of local exercise programs, recreational opportunities, and groups. The team will introduce Try This WV to our 2 local middle schools to help the students plan a project in their community. The group will meet monthly with the students at each school.  The team will survey students on community issues and discuss results, teach the students the mini -grant process and help them work on the foundation, and work with Mineral County Schools to send the students to the Conference. The Kids on the Move activity program will collaborate with the Burlington United Methodist Family Services Pathway Program targeting 20 youth in their program from ages 12 to 18. The program staff will work with the Coalition to oversee and expand the Kids on the Move program to ensure that the youth will get 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times a week,  a monthly recreational outing monthly such as bowling, swimming, skating, etc., weekly trainings to develop life skills such as banking, job readiness, proper etiquette, budgeting, grocery shopping, job shadowing, etc., and a Monthly Community Service Project within the community. They will revitalize the Keyser on the Move walking routes, promote usage and organize walking groups 3 times a week. 25 signs will be replaced, and a brochure will be produced with map of all local walking routes in the area and be distributed to local health organizations.

Partners: Mineral County Resource Network, Mineral County CASA, Potomac Valley Hospital, Potomac State College, Mineral County Health Department, WV House of Delegates, Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Chamber of Commerce, WVU Extension Services

Lead Contact: Gerri Mason / / 304-788-9099



Mingo County

Commit to be fit!

The team will expand Substance Abuse Prevention programming to include healthy eating, exercise, and adequate sleep. The team will present SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program to children ages 7-18 in Mingo County. They will evaluate the youth participating before, during and after completion of program to record the results. The team will train volunteers to become Train the Trainers (TOT). The team will create a youth advisory board and submit a How-To Guide, so that other communities can easily replicate the program.

Partners: Strong Through Our Plan, Mingo County Prevention Coalition, Freedom Full Gospel House of Prayer, Crossroads Recovery Home, ABLE Families, Mingo County Family Resource Network, Mingo County Schools

Lead Contact: Angela Sparks / / 304-664-3986



Monongalia County

Katalyst: Empowering Younger Generations

This project will establish an executive team with 4 student leaders that are designated roles such as President, Logistics Coordinator, School Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator at 3 WVU branches in Morgantown, Martinsburg, and Charleston.  The team will establish 1 recruiter for each healthcare program outside of the WVU allopathic medical school program for dentistry, nursing, public health, osteopathic medicine, and pharmacy. The team will recruit at least 16 volunteers at each branch to join the program. The team will host two 1.5-hour training sessions at each branch in October and November 2018 to teach the volunteers about the protocol for each Katalyst station and designate volunteers to teach each station.  The team will use these stations to teach elementary and middle school students about the gastrointestinal, respiratory/musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/endocrine, and neurological systems. The team will recruit and present to at least 1 school at each branch in Spring 2019 making a total of at least 3 school visits in 3 regions of the state this year.

Partners: WV Katalyst, Olfert Lifestyle Research Lab, WVU School of Medicine, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, WVU SOM Culinary Medicine Program, WVU SOM Nurse Practitioner Program, WVU MedChefs Program, WVU School of Dentistry

Lead Contact: Kathryn Baker / / 304-685-4683


Ohio County

STEAM Partnership: 3D Printed Hydroponics

Nutter Fort Intermediate (NFI) See It and 3D It! Program consisting of 500+ third through fifth grade students, teachers, and parent/community volunteers, will partner with the Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) to create a 3D Printer How-To Guide that directs student installation of the 3D printer, troubleshooting, and shares work flow processes necessary to build objects including advice for how to use internet and software tools using web cams and messaging tools. Partners will work together to organize a teacher training that will include a hydroponics-related lesson that addresses related WV Standards for Learning at appropriate grade level and that will be used in science or math classes and after school activities. NFI and SALS will work together to organize, plan, and publicize a Family Night focusing on Hydroponic Gardening for Nutter Fort Primary reaching over 600 students from grade preK to second, over 500 students from grades third through fifth and SALS after school program. This family event will consist of multiple exploration stations including the creation of informational origami seed packets, root measuring, pH testing, and basket building using 3D printing. The SALS YouthBuild group will be available via web cam to answer questions and demonstrate their hydroponics DIY setup. Students will use the SALS How-To Guide for the DIY Hydroponics System to build their system by December 2018 and will expand the SALS guide based on their construction and set up experiences. NFI’s principal has set an expectation that all 24+ teachers incorporate 3D printing into at least one class project by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Lillie Junkins, a fifth-grade science and social studies teacher who leads our Gardening Club, will help third, fourth and fifth grade teachers identify WV curriculum Standards that can be met by participating in this project.

Partners: Nutter Fort Intermediate staff, students, and parents, PTSO Family Coordinator, Central WV Community Action Inc., Headstart, SALS

Lead Contact: Kara Freeland / / 304-844-4051


Welcome to the Meadow

This team will complete site improvements at the Meadow, including building a picnic seating area for at least 60 people, an enclosed tipi for immersive small group discussion, and repairing the access road by November 2018. The team will host at least 350 volunteers and visitors at the Meadow, while increasing their awareness of food justice issues and healthy eating. The will also host an 8-week outdoor/agriculture education course with curriculum developed by our partners, and complete student pre- and post-assessments by December 2018. The team will plan day-long field trips for 6th grade classes from all four public middle schools in Ohio County. The team will create a how-to guide for hosting fields trips and immersive agricultural-emotional intelligence courses to inform others who may be interested in replicating or adapting this project.

Partners: Grow Ohio Valley, WV Public Broadcasting, West Liberty University, Warwood School, Wheeling Jesuit University Appalachian Institute, House of Hagar Share

Lead Contact: Sam Alberg / / 304-233-4769


Weirton Community Made Serenade

The team will recruit at least 5 youth and 5 adults from the greater Wheeling area to participate in the CMS as music players. The participants will attend 2 CMS structured practice sessions and star in 1 CMS performance event. All participants will receive an orientation to the program as part of their enrollment. Musical themes will rotate on a quarterly basis following a schedule organized annually by the CMS project team.  The team will create a How-To Guide so that other communities can create similar community music programs. The team will offer CMS practice sessions that provide an opportunity to promote health and wellness activities by providing healthy snacks, farm-to-table meals for special events, and interjections of exercise at breaks during the practice music sessions. There will be 8 CMS practice sessions between September 1, 2018 and Aug 31, 2019, and each session will include healthy snacks for the participants and additional healthy food choices will be available for purchase. Two of the events will include healthy meals; all other events will include healthy snacks and opportunities for performers and listeners to purchase fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce from the Grow Ohio Valley mobile truck. Each practice session will include a 10-15-minute break with light exercise and stretching to ensure wellness and self-care. The participants will complete a pre/post-test survey to track how dietary and exercise habits are impacted by participation in the CMS group activities.

Partners: Families Leading Change, Christ United Methodist Church, Dream Big Music Program, Grow Ohio Valley, The Fun-Raiser, Bethany College

Lead Contact: Laurie Ruberg / / 304-242-2455


Pocahontas County

Wheeling Warriors

This team will conduct a bike rally for skills training and equipment checks. The team will recruit 10 bikers to begin training for NICA team first year. Volunteers attend NICA training to prepare for an event and possibly have team competition the second year. The team will establish a workshop for students to learn bike maintenance and repair and create a bike exchange for students as they grow taller.

Partners: Pocahontas Board of Education

Lead Contact: Gayle Boyette / / 304-572-2319



Putnam County

Putnam Trails and Tails

The team will build on to the 2017 Try This Grant awarded to the Putnam County Animal Shelter and construct a roof over the exercise yards, so the exercise yards can be utilized in inclement weather. The team will teach community members the importance of exercise by walking. The team will recruit over 50 volunteers to train and walk the dogs at the shelter while getting exercise for over one hour a week. The team will build on awareness of the animal shelter by having an annual Dog Jog event. The team will create an agility course on the exercise yards for use by dogs and humans and start a walking and/or dog walking club that will meet on a monthly basis.

Partners: Putnam County Animal Shelter, DHHR Youth Services, Putnam Youth Reporting Center, WVU Extension Office, KEYS4HealthyKids, Putnam County Schools, Putnam County Juvenile Drug Court, Boy Scout Troop 17, Poca Middle School Animal Rescue Club

Lead Contact: Judy Pauley / / 304-586-1531


GBL with a High Tunnel

The Growing Gardeners program is a streamlined, minimally staffed operation that aims to install a Garden-Based Learning curriculum in elementary schools that gets students and teachers growing their own produce in high tunnels with raised beds.  Conceived and supported by WVU Extension, Dr. Chuck Talbott serves as the Program Director and Doug Penn, a licensed elementary teacher, is the Program Coordinator.This grant year the team will conduct a taste tests fall and spring growing season highlighting a vegetable being grown and students will record their level of preference. The procedure and results will be shared with other interested parties. The team will identify and establish working relationships with two more schools. They will participate in 3 recruitment forums such as direct meetings, entries on mailing list from Try This conference, other industry workshops and conferences.  The team will detail available resources to entice new candidates for the program.

Partners: WVU Extension, WV Department of Agriculture, WV Department of Education, Sustainable Integrated Systems Transforming Agriculture, Putnam County Master Gardeners

Lead Contact:  Chuck Talbott / / 304-586-0217



Randolph County

Nature Mindfulness Program for Children

Wonder & Grow will launch a pilot program by visiting Beverly Elementary School and Stockert Youth and Community Center once a week for 4 weeks each providing a mindful nature experience to approximately 30 elementary aged children. Two team members from Wonder & Grow will receive Mindful Outdoor Leadership Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health which includes 75 hours of training. They will provide 100 nature journals to kids attending the mindful nature experience sessions, to be used for recording nature observations and for self-reflection. Wonder & Grow will develop handouts and offer DIY activities on how to integrate mindful nature experiences into classrooms, community centers, or at home that will be provided to parents, faculty, and community partners via the Wonder & Grow website by June 2019.

Partners: Wonder & Grow, Leadership WV, WVU Extension, Generation Randolph, Beverly Elementary School, Randolph County Schools, Riverside Nature School, City of Buckhannon, Mayor of Buckhannon, Mindful WV

Lead Contact: Kate Reed / / 304-590-1156


Mix it Up Valley Head

In this project local churches will donate health food to nearly 300 residences of Valley Head. The team will build three blessing boxes and placing them on the properties of our partners. They will provide safe constructive recreational opportunities for over 50 children in the Valley Head community by relocating the existing school playground to the community center. To foster community conversation about health and gain momentum for healthy initiatives the team will host a pick-up basketball game at the Valley Head school by the end of summer 2019. They will encourage youth entrepreneurship by working with 3 teen vendors to provide healthy concession during the pick-up basketball game.. They will promote health through encouraging physical activity in the community by supplying bike racks at the library/school and growing a walking group with community members.

Partners: WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program, WV Community Development HUB, Linwood Alive, Valley Head Public Library, Valley Head Community Center, Calvary Assembly of God, Valley Head School of Building Owners

Lead Contact: Tracey Valach / / 304-636-2455


Roane County

PATCH Adventure Group

The team will develop an adventure club with 5 youth executive members and 2 adults, and have 2 planning meetings. The team host physical activity events with informational booths each quarter that will reach over 50 students and 25 adults in the community. The quarterly activities will start October 2018. The team will attend a physical activity outside of Roane County annually with at least 15 students and 5 adults. The project team will develop and document a template for a “Startup/How-To” guide, that includes a sustainability aspect, for a youth adventure club.

Partners: PATCH, Bros and Bras, City of Spencer, Roane General Hospital, Family Health Care, Roane County Schools, Speciality Graphics, A&M Digital Technologies, Roane County Commission

Lead Contact: David McCutcheon / / 304-927-8047



Summers County

Walk this Way Summers County

Participants in the Walk This Way Summers County Club will have walked an additional 60 minutes per week over the 2017-2018 school year as evidenced by attendance rosters. By May 2019, behavior referrals of students faithfully participating in the Walk This Way Summers County Club will be lower than the behavior referrals from school year 2017-2018 as evidenced by WVEIS Discipline files. Walk This Way Summers County Club members will visit and walk trails in local state and national recreation areas once every 9 weeks grading period as evidence by pre and post surveys and attendance rosters. Members will have a more positive outlook on school attendance and fewer absences. At the end of the Project Year 1, a How-To Guide will be completed and be made available that others may use.

Partners: Summers County Public Schools, WVU Extension Office Summers/Monroe County, New River Gorge National River, Bluestone State Park

Lead Contact: Linda Knott / / 304-466-6006


Sprouting Farms Community Outreach

Sprouting Farms will hold educational potlucks that give the community an opportunity to see the farm and take a tour, followed by a lecture, and a potluck dinner. Potluck topics, like fermentation, canning, local herbs, and healthy beverages, will be held once a month. C Ruby Daniels, a farm crew member and herbalist, would like to teach classes about herbs, tonics, tinctures, and oils. The community has also asked for a class on bread making and cheese making. They plan to have community classes over the 2018/2019 period, on or off the farm. They will engage kids and adults at cooking classes and potlucks throughout the year and engage over 30 children through our Community Outreach Events. The team will record evaluations of our educational classes and aim for half of their participants to increase their knowledge about the topic. The team will create a how-to guide to help others adapt our model for the events.

Partners: Sprouting Farms, Alderson Community Food Hub, Alderson Elementary School, Alderson Community Market, Greenbrier Master Gardeners, Greenbrier Valley Grown, Sunset Berry Farm, Greenbrier County Health Alliance, Creasy Jane’s

Lead Contact: Beth Ryan / / 304-573-4242



Taylor County


This team will build 1-2 new partnerships with rock climbing expertise. The team will obtain 1-2 volunteers skilled in wood working to provide in-kind laboron two new trail stations. The team will obtain 1-2 partners with expertise in art, art mediums, and in-kind expertise in setting up an art station. The project will create 3 activity stations on the AJES OwlsTrail,Station One will be focused on art including 3 washable art walls made of plexiglass framed in wood, Station Two will be focused on balance with 1 balance beam and suspended walking bridge, Station Three will be focused on strength building and problem solving it includes 1 four-sided wooden climbing structure, with each side presenting different levels of climbing difficulty and route patterns. The project will increase the physical activity levels of approximately 650 students, their families, and the community by 25%.

Partners: AJES PTO, WVDHHR, PATCH Coalition of Taylor County, Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network, Taylor County Arts Council, Taylor County Starting Points, Anna Jarvis Elementary School, Grit Stone Climbing and Fitness LLC. WVU Climbing Club

Lead Contact: Alicia Lyons / / 304-657-4196


Tucker County


This team will build a core group of students and teachers to participate in the Junior Master Gardener course from the local extension service.  The team will give a pre and post test will be given to show at least a 25% increase of knowledge. The team will expand the high tunnel capacity by adding a hydroponics system and purchasing the square foot gardening curriculum. During the 2018-2019 school year, the team will provide fresh produce for the TVEMS salad bar more than 3 times. During the 2018-2019 school year, students will take a course in healthy living strategies with a partner in the extension service; a pre and post test will be given to show at least a 25% increase of knowledge.

Partners: Mountaineer Garden Club, WVU Extension, Tucker County Schools, Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School

Lead Contact: Christine Ward / / 304-478-3606



Upshur County

Gardens Feed the World

This team will build an ongoing, seamless community to support students, create a committed, diverse, bold, student-led team called Gardens Feed the World Committee that meets at least one and 1/2 hours monthly at the First Presbyterian Church. They will promote healthy eating, lifestyles, gardening, and acceptance while combating obesity. illnesses, food insecurity, and intolerance, facilitate a senior high-school-student designed and implemented Gardens Feed the World Fair at the end of the school year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School for 85% of Upshur County students in grades 3-5 which will showcase nutritional student-created sample dishes from all continents incorporating at least 70% of the vegetables grown in Union and Rock Cave Elementary school gardens.  The students will also do this 1 senior-high school-student led game or physical activity. They will promote learning, focus, engagement, climate, health and well-being, incorporate yoga, movement, or mindfulness daily in Senior English courses at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. To enable others to replicate the project, the school journalism students will create and publish a complete picture and video illustrated electronic how-to guide called Gardens Feed the World Recipe for Success chronicling our journey and inviting others to join us.

Partners: Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Upshur Indivisible, Upshur County Schools, Upshur Board of Education, Union Elementary School, Rock Cave Elementary School snd Garden Club

Lead Contact: Edwina Howard-Jack / / 304-516-3653


Union Elementary High Tunnel Garden

This team will expand the current garden by building a 20′ by 40′ high tunnel by September 2018 to use for the 2018-2019 school year at Union Elementary. The project will increase student achievement through hands-on learning and introduce over 300 students to sustainable gardening and healthy living. Fresh vegetables will be supplied to the UES cafeteria and Buckhannon-Upshur High School Gardens Feed the World Fair from the high tunnels. The team will engage over 300 students in planning a garden and providing STEM activities that correlate with gardening. The project will increase student achievement through pre and post testing evaluation.

Partners: Union Elementary School, Create Buckhannon, Rock Cave Elementary School and Garden Club, Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Upshur Indivisible, Upshur County Schools, Highland Landscaping, Mike’s Lawn Care

Lead Contact: Deidra Casto / / 304-531-3005



Wayne County

Nourishing Networks Youth Pop-Up Markets

The project will supply 750 vouchers valuing $4 each to youth participants to spend at 25 pop up markets during the period of September 2018 – September 2019. The team will add 3 additional collaborators in 2019 to allow for geographic expansion of the pop ups and sustainability of our Nourishing Network.  The project provides access to healthy food choices through nutrition education for 750 underrepresented and/or underserved youth in Wayne and Cabell Counties.

Partners: CSL, WVUFNP, Food Justice Lab

Lead Contact: Sara Loftus / / 304-633-2309



Wirt County

Farm to Home Wirt County

The team will construct two communication boards for the community garden by August 30th, 2018.  The will plan and execute a Farm to Table dinner held at the Wirt County Community Hope Garden by July 2019.  The event will market 10 farm fresh businesses to 50 community participants. Throughout 2018- 2019 there will be 10 local farm fresh small home businesses that will be advertising their products through the Farm Fresh Market board and Facebook group. The team will collect $1500 in revenue from the utilization of the Farm Fresh Market board and be generated for a total for 10 producers.

Partners: Wirt County Extension, Elizabeth City Council, Elizabeth Master Gardeners, What’s Next Wirt County, Community Services Inc., Child Care Food Program, FRN, Country Cabinets, Faith Link

Lead Contact: Maegan Gaver / / 304-485-5525



Wood County

Fresh Healthy Food Access for Seniors

The team will provide fresh healthy food access to Seniors through a monthly pop up produce market, along with the CSFP boxes, and installation of a healthy food choice pantry at one local senior community that houses 130 residents in 3 buildings. The pop-up markets will benefit 240 seniors at 2 different senior complexes, in addition to the foot traffic in downtown Parkersburg. Matching vouchers will be given to the seniors participating at the pop up markets to encourage the purchase of healthy foods. Funding for vouchers are being provided through the Food Justice Lab. The team will build partnerships with the Mountaineer Food Bank for the CSFP boxes and fresh produce, and Food Justice Lab for the producers and matching voucher funding, and 1st Lutheran church for additional produce. The pop-up markets will begin July 26 and go through November 28 and the pantry will be up and running by the end of the year. The team will host at least 1 workshop for other food banks.

Partners: Mountaineer Food Bank, Food Justice Lab, Unity Apts. Staff, Community Resources Inc., Comfort Keepers, Piggly Wiggly, FaithLink, Local producers

Lead Contact: Melissa Ogden / / 304-485-5525 ext 31


Thrive – A Community Empowerment Center

This team will lease a building to house a food pantry, baby pantry, household furnishings, hydroponics and various community events. Purchase 2 refrigerators, 2 freezers, 22 shelving units and engage in 10 volunteers to clean, build and prepare Thrive. The team will prepare overall guidelines for services, store operations, and tracking system for services provided to individuals and families and then train 20 Volunteers from local churches, other members of the community, and CRI case managers on the operations of Thrive. They will purchase  30,000 pounds of food over the year from Mountaineer Food Bank. In addition to this receive donations of 10,000 pounds of food from area community gardens and First Lutheran Church community garden. Radio ads get the word out thanks to the support from Huntington Bank and donations will be accepted from members of the community. The team will set up a Hydroponics station with 15 kits.   The team will grow fresh produce to put back into the pantry and to teach families about growing indoors. The team will provide recipes on how to prepare fresh produce meals with produce available at that time to ensure food is less likely to be wasted.

Partners: United Way Alliance, Child Care Food Program, Mindful WV, Mountaineer Food Bank, Warehouse Church, Recovery Point of Parkersburg, Huntington Bank, Families Leading Change, FaithLink, First Lutheran Community Garden

Lead Contact: Kayla Ersch / / 304-485-5525


Wyoming County

Pineville Middle Family Greenhouse Project

This team will build a 20’ X 32’ high tunnel greenhouse to engage over 130 5th and 6th grade students in physical activity, while learning to grow fresh produce through STEAM curriculum that encourages healthy food choices and lifestyle. The team will engage at least 10 Wyoming County families a month in workshops that give them skills for gardening for both personal and commercial purposes, spurring an interest in economic development. They will also engage and train at least 5 local HSTA students. The teamw will video progress throughout the year and create a “how-to” video for other communities and conduct pre and post testing from a Master Gardener partnership with WVU Ext.

Partners: Pineville Middle School, Town of Pineville Foundation

Lead Contact: Amanda Mullins / / 304-673-970


Marathon Recycling

The team will clean 13.1 to 26.2 miles of waterways/roadsides of trash and sort recyclables by July 1, 2019. At least 30 community members will log more steps while cleaning up the outdoors than they would in a typical day. The team will recycle more than 4 tons of Type 1 and 2 plastics and aluminum by July 1, 2019. The project will engage 15 students in 250 volunteer after-school and in-school hours to increase recycling awareness, sort recyclables, and get more physical exercise than in their normal day-to-day routine.

Partners: Wyoming County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Wyoming County Solid Waste Authority, Wyoming County 4H, Cook Memorial Baptist Church, Town of Oceana Youth Advisory Council, Town of Oceana, Thompson Law Office, Tug River Catterson Health Center, Town of Pineville

Lead Contact: Brittany Bauer / / 304-923-7751


Lift Me Up

The project team will obtain a handicap accessible pool lift, and train lifeguards on its use. The team will create a swimming lesson course geared towards those with disabilities and handicaps so it is in place by the start of the 2019 swimming season. They will develop water aerobics classes and swim lessons to give people another way to stay active in a fun manner and present to at least 2 other cities about creating a Youth Councils.

Partners: Oceana youth Advisory Council, town of Oceana, Wyoming County SADD, Gilliland Park Pool, Friends of the Eart

Lead Contact: Myleigh Stewart / / 304-682-5564


Mullens Youth Advisory Council

The project team will engage a minimum of 8 area students in grades 5-12 to participate in leadership training and work alongside city commissioners. The team will work with the City of Mullens Foundation to promote playground improvements and install water fountains in the local playgrounds to provide water during physical activity. The team will determine projects to improve the downtown area and see 2 projects to completion. They will hold meetings monthly prior to the city council meeting to discuss their goals and desired projects and have a youth representative present to the Mullens City Council what projects they are working on.

Partners: City of Mullens, Mullens Middle School, Wyoming County SADD, Wyoming County Circuit Clerk Office, Wyoming County Prevention Coalition

Lead Contact: Virginia Lusk / / 304-890-3608

West Virginians inspiring West Virginians!

Posted by on 9:01 pm in Uncategorized | 1 comment

West Virginians inspiring West Virginians!

A Movement is Growing – Try This West Virginia from Stephen C. Stonestreet

video created by Stonestreet Creative. Filmed at the 2016 Try This West Virginia conference


This video comes as close as anything we’ve seen to catching the energy of the Try This gatherings … and movement.  West Virginians helping and enjoying each other.  Enjoy!  Then come back to the Web site and explore. You’ll find hundreds of practical, affordable ways to help create a healthier community.

And all the pictures were taken in West Virginia!



Take a look at our 2014-16 Try This WV Evaluation

Community by community!

Posted by on 9:01 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Community by community!

video created by Stonestreet Creative. Filmed at the 2016 Try This West Virginia conference


This video comes as close as anything we’ve seen to catching the energy of the Try This gatherings … and movement.  West Virginians helping and enjoying each other.  Enjoy!  Then come back to the Web site and explore. You’ll find hundreds of practical, affordable ways to help create a healthier community.

And all the examples (and pictures) come from West Virginia!

It’s up to us!

Posted by on 9:10 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s up to us!

video created by Stonestreet Creative. Filmed at the 2016 Try This West Virginia conference

This video comes as close as anything we’ve seen to catching the energy of the Try This gatherings … and movement.  West Virginians helping and enjoying each other.  Enjoy!  Then come back to the Web site and explore. You’ll find hundreds of practical, affordable ways to help create a healthier community.

And all the pictures were taken in West Virginia!

Join the movement …

Posted by on 9:02 pm in Uncategorized | 11 comments

Join the movement …

suphere3Click on the picture to get on board!

Click on the picture to sign up!

Join our facebook group page for:

* Ideas you’ll want to steal: Detailed stories about  West Virginians who are doing great stuff in their communities.

* Funding tips: Ways and places to apply for $$. Deadlines and contacts.

* Latest research: Study after study shows that we’re on the right track. You’ll want to be up to date on that.

* Profiles of community champions. Inspiring people who are making it happen where they live.

* Who can help me? Profiles of organizations that can help you help your community.

* Spotlight on the Try This Web site: a close-up view of useful resources you may want to follow up on.

* Try This minigrant and conference info

Announcements of events and workshops you’d like to know about.

* A monthly roundup of stories, news, pictures and information you can use!

It’s up to us! Together, we can make a difference!

Healthy Workplaces!

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Healthy Workplaces!

Taking a 3 minute physical activity break during a meeting or doing yoga over lunch is an easy way to incorporate physical activity in the workplace.

Workplace Wellness

This page is loaded with WV specific community resources and best examples on how you can make healthy changes in worksites.


Workplace Wellness – Why Do We Care?

Health Benefit

  • According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), workplace wellness programs can:
    • Improve healthy behaviors, increase physical activity and encourage healthy eating.
    • Improve workers’ health knowledge and skills.
    • Create a culture of healthier behaviors at work.
      • A study showed these programs increased employee retention, attendance, productivity and improved employees’ quality of life.

Economic Benefit

  • Obesity and related chronic disease cost money, impacts health cost to employers and employees.
  • A 2010 medical survey revealed the U.S. spends over $1 trillion a year on medical cost and 86% of the cost is associated with heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, diabetes or obesity.
  • According to the CDC, the  U.S. spends $225 billion annually on personal and family health problems including indirect cost of absenteeism, poor, health and disability.

All these reasons provide more than enough justification for addressing wellness where people work to improve health. Together we can continue to address obesity and chronic related disease and get WV off the worst health list by using proven workplace strategies!


West Virginias Worksites Rocking at Wellness



There are many WV organizations who are partnering to improve workplace wellness–including Try This Mini-Grant Recipients.

Checkout the 2018 Try This WV conference Presentation: Creating A Wellness Program On A Shoestring Budget  


The Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. (KISRA)

NRG (Sounds like energy) Nutrition Resources and Goodies! (2017-18 mini-grant project)

Click here to see the NRG Mini-Grant 2018 Conference Presentation

Active Southern WV Workplace Wellness Physical Activity Project (Fayette, Raleigh, Nicholas, Summers Counties) (2017-18 mini-grant project)


Click here to see the Active Southern WV Mini-Grant 2018 Conference Presentation

Click on the image to download even more posters to display at your workplace!

Wellbeing Solutions WV (2017-2018 Mini-Grant Project)

Click here to see the Wellbeing Solutions 2018 Conference Presentation


Healthy Berkley Workplace Wellness (2017-18 Mini-Grant Project)

Click here to see the Employee Wellness Programing 2018 Conference Presentation


How you can create and do workplace wellness on a shoestring budget?

Additionally, there are many worksites both big and small, who are eager to start and or expand their existing program! Your organization isn’t alone.


The Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease well@work WV Healthy Worksite Initiative has outlined simple proven method steps to help you get started. The Division utilizes the CDC Workplace Health Model and CDC Workplace Resource Center, additional resources for implementing effective workplace wellness strategies.


Here’s how you can do it too, in five easy steps:

  1. Review: familiarize yourself with well@work WV Healthy Worksite Program resource section and Workplace Health Program Definition and Description.
  2. Assess: Complete and submit the organizational assessment–CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC) paper or online.
  3. Plan: Develop a Health Improvement Plan (Word Doc) (PDF) with at least one Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely (SMART) objective based on CDC HSC results.
  4. Implement: Use the  well@work WV Healthy Worksite Initiative resources to take action and Try This Set A Good Example Resource for Action. If you are not sure where to start, consider physical activity and nutrition strategies.
  5. Evaluate and celebrate: share challenges, opportunities and success. (Repeat steps 2-5 annually)

Feeling good about wellness? Apply for workplace wellness recognition.


What you can do?

Set a good example. At Try This we have implemented some innovative, informative and always fun workplace wellness practices not only for our staff, but also for those who visit.

  • Our cuckoo clock in the office is set to go off every 30 minutes, no matter where you are, what your doing, or who is there, everyone gets up and moves and stretches. This gets the blood circulating, gets your heart rate up, and is always a good time watching everyone run around the office.
  • We have signs up around the office motivating staff to be active and reminders and tips to stay healthy.

  • Post recipes up in lunch/break rooms with examples of healthy food and snack alternatives. Have pot lucks on special occasions or for big meetings where everyone brings a healthy dish and swaps recipes.


  • During cooler months at the office, Try This hosts a Yoga hour for lunch. Let people from the community or other business join in for even more fun. We chose to offer it FREE for staff and charge $5 for anyone in the community to participate.

Weekly Yoga class offered for the Try This Staff and community members.

Want even more information on how to improve workplace wellness? Here are some helpful links:


Have something to add? Write it in “reply” below, with your contact info, in case we have questions.

Submit a Comment

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An introduction to Try This ™

Posted by on 2:17 pm in Churches, Fighting Chronic Disease, Fitness: Children, Fitness: Community, Funding, Getting Your Message Out, Healthy Eating: Community, Healthy Eating: Schools, Policies & Infrastructure, Seniors, Troops & Volunteers | 17 comments

An introduction to Try This ™


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 examples of things you can do, to turn dreams of a healthier community into reality.


Our mission statement: “to help knock West Virginia off the top of the worst health lists, community by community.”  

Our motto: “It’s up to us!”


There are many parts to the Try This movement:  


This Web site is one! Available 24/7 with hundreds of ideas, “how-to” resources, and great West Virginia models.  A wonderful online way for West Virginians to trade ideas and help each other! Combine that with our facebook page and other social media, and you get a powerful online resource that helps West Virginians help each other.

35. fri fitness econ devel

More than 500 participants attended 30 breakout sessions at the 2016 Try This conference. And 132 presenters donated their services. Register for the 2017 conference through the conference square on this site.

2. An annual conference for local people who want to build healthier communities.  It’s the Web site come to life! The 2016 conference featured 40 “how-to” workshops and 128 presenters and drew more than 550 participants from all over West Virginia!

3. Minigrants for community teams that want to carry out healthy lifestyle projects in their communities.  In our first three years, Try This distributed more than a quarter of a million ($280,000) in minigrants to 153 community teams. Many communities used their minigrant as seed money to get matching funds, donated resources and volunteer time.

Our 2015-16 minigrants averaged $9 in donations, additional grants and volunteer time for every $1 we put into them.

4. Year-round program: Workshops, social media and on-the-ground organizers to help local people plan projects, carry out longterm planning, find resources and get training. In 2015-16, we sponsored six regional meetings and incubated the fledgling WV Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits network.

5. State-level coalition. Try This is a coalition of partner organizations who recognize that we can get more done together than we can get done apart.  Our aim is to pool resources to help local teams. See below for the list of partners.

6. Incubator.  Try This is a big incubator for big ideas that an only be accomplished through collaboration.



Here is advice about ways to navigate and use this Web site.

Here’s a handy flyer you can use to tell people about the Try This Web site.



Who are the Try This Parters? Try This is a partnership between local people who want to create healthier communities and a coalition of state-level groups who can help them do that.  The state-level partners include:

West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families CoalitionWest Virginia Community Development Hub,   West Virginia Office of Child NutritionWest Virginia Bureau for Public HealthKEYS 4HealthyKidsWest Virginia Association of CountiesWVU Extension ServiceWest Virginia Family Resource Networks,   West Virginia Food and Farm CoalitionWV Farmers Market AssociationOur Children Our Future, Healthy in the HillsWest Virginia National Association of Social WorkersAmerican Friends Service Committee WVWest Virginia Primary Care AssociationWest Virginia Council of Churches,  Step by Step, West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, West Virginia Healthy Bodies Healthy SpiritsWest Virginians for Affordable Health Care


Who funds Try This?  The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, WV Office of Child Nutrition, WV Bureau of Public Health, Unicare, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, The Highmark Foundation, Sisters Health FoundationThe Bernard McDonough Foundation, American Heart Association, WVU Rural Health Initiative, WVU Health Sciences Center, WV Development Office, Flex-E Grant Program, Appalachia Funders Network, plus the Try This conference registration dollars and sponsorship dollars.



Kayla Hinkley, Director:    (304) 356-9050

Ashley Starcher, Deputy Director: (304) 982-9314

AmeriCorps member: Melissa Young

AmeriCorps member: Alexa Peck

Co-Founders: Kate Long & Stephen Noble Smith



Why are we doing this?      


Hamlin K-8 work day

More than 90 Lincoln County residents and families turned out to help create the walking trail for their Try This minigrant. They leveraged their $3,000 grant into more than $16,000! (photo, Kate Long)

West Virginia tops many awful chronic disease lists … 

but it doesn’t have to stay that way.  


Our children are at risk. In 2012, nearly one in four West Virginia fifth- graders already had high blood pressure, according to West Virginia University measurements of thousands of children. One in five kindergartners were coming to school obese. Almost one in three adults were obese.

All these things put them at high risk of future type 2 diabetes, heart disease and a wide range of other chronic diseases.

We know we can change that.  It’s up to us!





closeup of public h emerg

West Virginia University’s actual measurements of fifth-graders leave no doubt about the seriousness of the state’s childhood obesity epidemic. (pdf courtesy The Charleston Gazette)

This is about economic development too:


The cost of treating these diseases is busting our state, local and family budgets.  A recent legislative report said seven out of 10 of our health care dollars are spent treating preventable diseases. Let’s prevent them!

As we build healthier communities, we make them more attractive to businesses and people who might like to locate there.

For more information: See the Try This fitness = economic development page and the healthy food = economic development page.






Two things will lower our chronic disease rate, doctors say: daily physical activity and healthier diet.  Click on the blue letters for a list of research studies on the impact of physical activity and healthier diet.


Saturday conference (65 of 74)

Forty-two community teams planned healthy lifestyle projects at the conference and received Try This minigrants to carry out their projects.

This Web site is stuffed with practical, affordable ways to make it easier for people in your community to move more and eat healthy food.

People are not born knowing how to build high-tunnel greenhouses or create running clubs or school-based health centers.  To help you, we’ve assembled high-quality “how-to” resources from around the country and world. 

Every picture on this site is taken in West Virginia. We made sure that each activity we recommend is already working in West Virginia. That makes it harder to say, “Well, maybe it worked someplace else, but it won’t work here!”


feature checklist photo

See the “Try This Checklist square” for a handy way to use the Web site to create a longterm healthy lifestyle plan.

The Try This checklist : make a long-range plan!

The checklist gives you a handy way to make a long-range healthy lifestyle plan for your community.  It helps you prioritize projects in an efficient way.  


Take a look!  Tell other people about it. Bring interested people together and use it!   



Media reports:


Media reports  on minigrants




Other frequently-asked questions:


diabetes income

People from a family that earns less than $15,000 are 3X more likely to get type 2 diabetes than are people from families that earn $55,000 or more. Communities can help level the playing field by giving all people opportunities to be physically active and eat a non-processed diet

What is the Try This philosophy?  The Try This site is evidence-based, grounded in the socio-ecological model of health promotion. We believe that people can make healthy changes in their lifestyles more easily if healthy choices are available in their community.   For a good discussion of that model, see “Translating Social Economic Theory into Guidelines for Community Health Promotion.”

Try This supplies how-to information for people who want to create those choices. Local and state government can adopt policies that promote those choices.

The Try This site also supplies how-to information on a wide variety of such policies.  See “How local officials can help” in the site index.

Statistically, low-income and minority people have poorer health than higher-income and white people do. The Try This Web site is another tool for people who hope to overcome that disadvantage by creating community programs that make it easier for people to move more and eat healthier food.


How did we choose the community activities that appear on the Web site? These activities are promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and other groups that study “what works.” All these activities have been shown to increase physical activity and/or availability of healthy food. All are happening now in West Virginia. Each page includes West Virginia examples.


How was the Web site created?  Kate Long created The Try This site for the children and families of her home state.

The site was funded by grants from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and KEYS 4HealthyKids. It is based with the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and overseen by the Try This steering committee.

Adam Flack supplied the technical expertise that brought the site together. Hundreds of people supplied information and insight. The site is built on Origins, an adapted WordPress template.  


 Try This (c) 2015 and Trademark 2017 Kate Long





Fitness activity = Economic development.

Posted by on 1:15 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fitness activity = Economic development.

The Public Health Institute captured the case for fitness = economic development in this poster. Click to enlarge it. Used with permission.

In 2013, after Summersville started featuring fitness and outdoor adventure in its advertising, traffic on the city’s Web site went up 40 percent, according to Summersville Convention and Economic Development director Marianne Taylor.


Every year, Parkersburg closes its streets and turns them into a big park with healthy activities, bringing hundreds of people downtown to patronize the businesses. It was such a success, they now do it once a month, holding a party at a different business every month,giving them a financial boost. (Photo courtesy The OPAM)

Businesses and families want to locate in communities that value fitness, research shows. West Virginia now has the lowest “wellbeing” measure of any state on Gallup’s annual index. It doesn’t have to stay that waay

Colorado cites its healthy workforce and fitness offerings, in attempts to convince businesses from other places to relocate, as this National Public Radio story shows.  The title of the piece is “Businesses seek out areas with culture of health.”

The resources on this page can help you convince others that it is in your community’s economic development interest to make it easier for residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Scroll down. Scan through the resources and research.  Get a sense of possibilities. We don’t have to stay on the bottom.


Use these great resources!


Mountain biking now brings thousands of people and more thousands of dollars to West Virginia. Here, mountain bikers line up for the start of the Mountwood race, one of more than 25 major West Virginia races.

Mountain biking now brings thousands of people and more thousands of dollars to West Virginia. Here, mountain bikers line up for the start of the Mountwood race, one of more than 25 major West Virginia races. (Photo courtesy The OPAM)

  • Healthy Communities/Healthy Future. Ideas for ways to create a healthy environment with safe places to walk, bike and play. A project of the National League of Cities.
  • Smart Growth Online: “Supporting the development of vibrant, healthy communities.”  This site is packed nationwide examples of ways communities can grow in a healthy way.  Lots of funding ideas too.
  • The Center for Active Design   This organization offers several books full of attractive designs for public places that encourage physical activity. See “resources.” The center aims to “reduce obesity and chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and healthy eating through the design of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods.”
  • The Local Government Commission / healthy communities page.  A very helpful Web site for local government.
  •  Trail Towns is a non-profit set up to maximize the economic potential of trail-based tourism. They have some impressive economic impact studies on the trails in Pennsylvania and Maryland.  West Virginia is just getting started.


    West Virginia now has more miles of rail-trail per person than any other state. “The trails around Summersville are so popular, we’ve made a map to hand out to people,” said Marianne Taylor, Summersville Convention and Visitors Bureau director.

  • The National League of Cities: Useful Webinars and examples from other cities.
  • “The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments,” by Advocacy Advance. A good summary and discussion by the AARP can be found, with a link to the actual report, at
  • Advocacy Advance research and resources are at
  • The 2016 Benchmarking report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking includes: bicycling and walking levels and demographics; bicycle and pedestrian safety; funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects; written policies on bicycling and walking; bicycle infrastructure; bike-transit integration; bicycling and walking education and
    encouragement activities; public health indicators; and the economic impact of bicycling and walking.
  • Bike to Work: Benefits to employees are matched by benefits to businesses. Employers can get tax breaks for encouraging biking to work:
  • Advertise your events:  I Play Outside is an examples of bulletin boards. Or advertise through your county Parks and Rec site. Here’s a good example:
  • Eat Smart, Move More. North Carolina used to reward communities with small grants. That successful program that fell victim to budget cutbacks.  It was succeeded by the excellent Eat Smart, Move More NC program that offers great how-to tips, but no grants.
  • Fit communities attract business and young people: “The Rust Belt,” a well-produced video about Cleveland, provides many ideas about ways biking, walking and hiking can help rejuvenate a city and attract young people.
  • Healthy local food = economic development: See “Healthy local food as an economic development tool” page.
  • See the Farm to School page.  West Virginia schools spend more than $80 million every year on school meals. If a tenth of that could come from West Virginia, that would be $8 million.
  • West Virginia’s Road Map for the Food Economy: WV Farm and Food Coalition.
  • And things like beekeeping … Remember that, throughout our history, many people patched a living together, making $$ here and $$ there. We need to keep in mind that sometimes, all people need is another source of income that lets them stay in the place they love.



  • Here’s some solid research to bolster your case:



“All the businesses along the streets closed for Park Day reported that they had had one of the year’s biggest sales days,” said Kim Coram, event organizer and Parkersburg City Council member. Click to enlarge.

  • The potential savings of fitness are enormous. In 2010, Duke paired its “cost of obesity” study with a study that estimates the potential savings of fitness. Major findings:
    • Unless changes are made, there are likely to be 32 million additional obese Americans 20 years from now, a 33 percent increase in obesity and 130 percent increase in severe obesity.
    • Keeping obesity rates level could save nearly $550 billion in medical expenditures over the next two decades. See  “Obesity and Severe Obesity Forecasts through 2030,” the Journal of Preventative Medicine, Finkelstein et al., June 2011.
  • Corporate wellness programs pay off:  “A review of 72 studies published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed an average return on investment of $3.48 per $1 for corporate wellness programs when considering health care costs alone; $5.82 when examining absenteeism; and $4.30 when both outcomes are considered.”
  • More evidence of the high medical cost of obesity from a 2011 Gallup poll:
  • West Virginia study: “Couch potatoes cost millions.”


    Jefferson County’s annual Freedom’s Run nets about $15,000 each year, which the organizers donate to the schools to pay for fitness trails and other healthy lifestyle projects. Photo courtesy The Martinsburg Journal

  • Potential savings of fitness: “In the 10 cities with the highest obesity rates, the direct costs connected with obesity and obesity-related diseases are roughly $50 million per 100,000 residents. If these 10 cities cut their obesity rates down to the national average, the combined savings to their communities would be $500 million in health care costs each year.”  From the National League of Cities Healthy Communities/Healthy Future project
  • Blueprint Mississippi Health Care: An economic driver. For those who would like to see an example of a  state-level study: Here’s the 2012 Mississippi state study examining the economic impact of people’s health on the economy.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists tend to spend more money. A study by Advocacy Advance showed that bicyclists and pedestrians spend more money per mile than people in vehicles, perhaps because they can stop more easily to shop.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine produces a yearly “American Fitness Index.: The 2017 report again named Minneapolis-St. Paul as the healthiest, fittest cities in the USA for the third year. “What Minneapolis has done brilliantly is put their resources where residents can use them effectively to maintain a high level of physical activity,” Walt Thompson, professor of exercise physiology at Georgia State University, told USA Today. “The city spends double the amount of money on parks per capita ($227 a person) as some other cities.”

    BIG PHOTO. Huntington Fitfest

    In the wake of Jamie Oliver, Huntington is turning into a fitness-conscious town: the PATH fitness trail through town, biking and running groups, Create Huntington, high-quality school food, Huntington’s Kitchen and a variety of Fitness events and festivals like Huntington FitFest, pictured here. Photo courtesy the Huntington Herald-Dispatch

  • Physical activity improves productivity. The Lancaster University Study: Multi-business Study of the  Effect of Low Impact Physical Activity on Employee Health and Wellbeing– 2011 has a wealth of information on the impact of physical activity on employee productivity.  See writeup below the picture.








Also see these Try This pages: Healthy food = economic development tool, create a food distribution system, Farm to School, Encourage road biking, Create a running/walking group



Have something to add? Write it in “reply” below, with your contact info, in case we have questions.

A list of everything on this site

Posted by on 1:10 pm in Churches, Fighting Chronic Disease, Fitness: Children, Fitness: Community, Funding, Getting Your Message Out, Healthy Eating: Community, Uncategorized | 13 comments

A list of everything on this site

A healthy community is created like a jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time. Plan your pieces!

Scroll down and find a one-stop-shopping list of every activity on the site, a menu to choose from. Each link takes you to a page full of resources.

Suggestion: Work your way through the site, a few pages at a time. By the time you finish, you’ll know about a wide range of possibilities and know what other West Virginia communities are doing.



Make the economic development case for fitness / healthy food activities:

2. economic development

Funding:  $$: How to increase your grant success + grant sources

Make it easy for people to be physically active:

4. running and walking
5. build trails
7. water sports
8. get kids active after school2
9. others things communities do

Other important pages coming soon:

John and Regina Elzy
  • Troops and volunteers
  • Churches
  • Seniors
  • Get school wellness councils going
  • Create healthy child care centers

regional gatherings


2018 Try This conference schedule

Posted by on 2:58 pm in Uncategorized | 1 comment

2018 Try This conference schedule
Web 2016 conf (6 of 8)

Artist Erica Bota drew while people were talking during the opening session of the 2016 Try This connference, and she captured the spirit of the whole session!

Thursday, June 14:

Come early! Relax and be fresh for the conference!

Enjoy special activities, exhibits, Dale Hawkins Dinner and Physical Activities on The Green!!


3. Dale H dinner

Thursday night is a great time to kick back and relax, catch up with old friends and meet new ones!

5 – 7 pm  Chef Dale Hawkins’ tour of his FishHawk Acres organic farm, followed by a gourmet farm dinner. A private event, piggybacking on the conference. Experience a West Virginia local foods legend! $37.50 per person. Must make a reservation (use link above). Limited to 100 people.

4 pm: Conference registration and room check-in starts. Closes at 9 pm. Please try to get there before 9 pm, but if you have to be late, please contact the conference assistant on duty at 304-613-9316. They will get you checked into your room.

7:00 – 9:00 pm: Try This Exhibits open. Wesleyan dining hall. A great chance for one-on-one conversations with exhibitors. List of exhibitors here.

7:00 pm: Networking fun.Wesleyan dining hall. Fun networking exercises to help you meet and trade ideas with strangers.

All evening: Relax and play games on the green. Hula hoops, Frisbees, etc. – and the gaga pit!

Dining Hall will NOT be open for Thursday evening.


Friday, June 15:

The fun officially begins!


7:00 – 8:30 Physical activity! Couch to 5K running workshop + run. Yoga, tai chi on the green in front of the chapel.  Meditation / mindfulness session: go in door at back of the Chapel building.  The Gym/ Wellness Center will be open (Jenkins Building)

7:30 – 9:00   Breakfast and exhibits in the dining hall.

Web 2016 conf (2 of 9)

At Try This, you get right down to having fun!

8:00 – 9:15   Register at Performing Arts Center Coffee,  greet friends, network and enjoy a healthy treat!

9:15 –  11:30: Opening Session!

Getting inspired, getting ideas. Talking with strangers! Spotlighting West Virginia success stories >  The movement is growing fast!

11:30 – 1:00 Lunch: network! More talk with strangers! Network! No speeches! An extra half-hour this year so you can check out exhibits.

1:-00– 2:15 Breakout sessions # 1 : 10 great sessions by inspiring West Virginians, sharing what they know


2:30 – 2:50: Break time: more trading ideas

2:45 – 4:00  Breakout sessions #2 : 10 more great sessions

4:30 – 5:30 Whole-group session: Turning a little pile of $$ into a bigger pile! Hear from champion leveragers! These people know how to start with a little and end up with a lot! We’ll come out of this session with a big list of ideas!

5:45 – 7:00   Dinner.

6:30 – 7:30 Exhibitors at their exhibits

Web 2016 conf (1 of 9)

We don’t just talk about getting active!

6:45 – 8:45 Fun activities on the green: Games and demos: Join in! Enjoyable, low-cost activities you can copy for your community!  Bouchee Ball and Slackline! Tai chi and yoga! Ultimate frisbee and Disc golf! Check out Barboursville’s Wheelie Healthy-Food wagon! Get a profile of your area from the WV FOODLINK  folks.

Evening: Your time: Enjoy downtown Buckhannon, hang out with friends, old or new, or take the opportunity to turn in early! Up to you!






Web 2016 conf (1 of 8)

Friday evening, the Wesleyan Green is full of great stuff to do!

Saturday, June 16:

More friends to make, 20 more workshops to choose from!


7:30 – 8:30 Couch to 5K/beginner running workshop, meets by the fountain.

Yoga meet on the green in front of the chapel.

Tai Chi meet on green in front of dorms.

Meditation and Mindfulness in the small chapel: Go in door at back of the chapel.

Walk with Ease demonstration (Arthritis Foundation): at the fountain.

Gym/ Wellness center will be open. (Jenkins building)


7:30 – 8:45 Breakfast in dining hall, exhibits.  Want to network around a particular interest? Let us know you’d like to have an interest table! So far, biking as transportation and Running Resource Network!

Web 2016 conf (1 of 6)

Our presenters know what they’re talking about because they’ talk about what they do!

9:00 –  10:00 Group session:  Healthy Communities = Economic Development:  

10:15 – 11-:30 Breakout sessions # 3: Yet another 10 great breakout sessions! See the descriptions here.

11:45 – 1:00 Breakout session # 4: Can you believe it? Another great 10!

1:15 – 2:15 Lunch: Want to network around a particular issue?  You can join – or organize – an interest table!

2:15 – 3:30 Teams work on mini-grants! A great chance for local teams to get a good start and consult with state-level people who can tell you about resources, etc.

Checkout by 4:30. Keys in.


Web 2016 conf (7 of 9)

It’s a great place for your team to compare notes and ideas if you want to apply for a mini-grants.



18. one on one.Chuck Talbott

At the conference, you can sit down and get advice on your projects from all the conference experts. Come pick their brains about your project! They’re there to help! Here’s Chuck Talbott, Extension Agent, Putnam County, who can advise you well on most any aspect of gardening, community gardening, hightunnel programs for kids, livestock raising, etc. etc. etc.