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

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

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

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

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

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

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