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

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Minigrants!
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   We have moved the minigrant application materials to https://trythiswv.org/minigrants. Check it out!        Project by project, we can create healthier communities …  and  have fun doing it!     COVID19 cancelled the 2020 conference, but not the minigrants! Try This awarded 31 minigrants in 2020! Next opportunity: June 2021. Time to plan! Applications will open on April 21. All application information and...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 – 20 minigrants
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    Cabell County Try This Huntington: The Marcum Terrace Family Resource Center serves more than low-income 280 homes and approximately 600 residents and community members. Food insecurity and substance abuse disorder are widespread issues. The Center serves all age groups, from babies to seniors. This Try This grant pays for a sound system that will be used for afterschool programming, special events and...

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31 minigrant projects in 2020-21
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  Barbour County  Adaland Community Heritage Orchard The Adaland Community Heritage Orchard project is supported by 11 Barbour County partners who want to build a healthier community through home gardening and healthy cooking/food preservation. Try This WV will let them buy 36 young apple trees (20 for planting and 16 to give away) and supplies for an heritage orchard planted on the Adaland Mansion...

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

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2014 minigrant teams turned $82,000 into projects worth more than $750,000
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2014 grants:  $82,000 to 42 community teams.   Our 42 teams rose to the challenge in 2014!  The 2014 Try This minigrants ranged from $3,000 to $450. By October 1st, 66 percent of them had already exceeded at least one of their goals. When we award a minigrant, the team agrees to secure local match. By year’s end, the 2014 teams had used their minigrants as...

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

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2019 Try This Conference Schedule
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From early-morning yoga though inspiring, idea-packed sessions, to dancing in the dark with finger-tip lights, Try This is filled with positive energy and hope for our state.    Info on minigrants here.  Breakout session list    Thursday, June 6 Come early! Relax and be fresh for the conference! Enjoy networking, exhibits, and physical activities on The Green! Explore Buckhannon!   Try This Healthcare Professionals...

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2017-18 Mini-grant Teams
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2017-18 Try This Mini-grants by county   Barbour County Eagles SOAR (Surmounting Obstacles through Agriculture & Recreation) – This team will greatly expand healthy activities at Kasson Elementary Middle School. After a new greenhouse is built, students will plant at least seven unusual vegetables and the team will organize quarterly healthy food tasting events for students PK-8, parents, and community members. They will also...

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TRY THIS 2020 CONFERENCE BREAKOUT SESSIONS …                               Sneak Peek
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We’re still adding sessions and presenters!  …  full list and schedule up soon We thought we’d give you this sneak peek before the early bird rate disappears!   REGISTER HERE!   Mindful West Virginia. In two years, Mindful WV has exploded into a statewide organization that has trained 500+ teachers to weave yoga and mindfulness through the day. It all started with a Try...

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2016-17 Minigrants
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54 wonderful minigrant projects in 2016-17!  Boone County Bike and Fishing Clubs for Area Youth – Whitesville Police will mentor youth biking and fishing clubs. The club meetings will include a positive anti-drug message, and the team will participate in weekly Family Adventure Nights. The bike club will go on bi-monthly group rides twice a month, and the project team will host at least...

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