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West Virginia is at or near the top of many “worst health” lists, but we can change that, step by step, community by community. This Web site brings hundreds of affordable ideas, top-notch advice and resources together in one place. 


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These Gilmer County kindergartners love the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program, one of many statewide efforts to create healthy school food. (Photo: Kate Long)

Here’s how the site works:

1. On the home page, run your mouse over the photos. Titles appear on the squares. Single-click on a page, and it takes you you to a page full of ideas, resources, and pictures.  (If it takes you to a big picture with no writing, you’ve clicked too many times > Click back one page.)

2. Scroll down the page. Explore the links. We’ve tried to find the most useful links on the Web, so we’ve pre-screened them for you.

3.  You can make the home page display information about only one area – healthy eating, for instance. Go to the blue space on the home page and click on “healthy eating.” The photo grid will change to show only “healthy eating” squares.

4. If you want to look at a list of every square on this site, click on the INDEX square.

5. You can also use the Search feature in the blue area to the left.




Kids love Parkersburg’s regular biking activities. See Biking on the Index page, for ideas about ways get people biking in your community. (Photo courtesy The OPAM)

Don’t be overwhelmed.  Look at a few pages at a time.

The squares are mixed in together because that’s the way it happens in life. If you want to look at only squares related to one area – physical activity in the community, for instance – click on those words in the blue bar on the home page.

Use this handy checklist to keep track of your thoughts. (It’s a Word doc, so you can save it to a folder and type on the form.)


If you’re working on a long-range community plan, use the Try This planning tool / checklist:



Year-round running/walking clubs, beginner classes, kids’ events, and events like Charleston’s Distance Run… They’re spreading fast statewide! Check out the running/walking pages in the INDEX for ideas. (Photo Chip Ellis, courtesy, The Charleston Gazette)

* To find it, click on the blue words above. The planning tool is a useful checklist of every square on the home page. It’s a handy way to review a wide range of possible things you could do. Download it, and you can take notes on it and store it in a folder.

* Take notes as you go through the checklist.  If you come to an item you want to know more about, click on the link, and the relevant Try This page will come up.

*  If you’re working with a community team, the checklist makes it easy to compare ideas. Everyone fills out a checklist on their own, then compare. It’s an organized way to make a priority list.

* After you choose priority projects, decide who will research what on the Try This site. Set a date to report back.

*  Read through the pages you agreed to research. Review all links and check the “also see” pages at the bottom of the page. Take notes. Then suggest two or three steps your community could take toward that project.

* Report back and suggest next steps. Listen to suggested steps on other projects. Discuss. Make a plan. Take the next steps.  Make a plan. Take the steps. Etc.

* Visit other West Virginia communities that are already doing the activities you selected, if you can.

Make it fun! Celebrate every success! Enjoy the people on your team. Dream. That keeps it going.


  1. hello love your site. I too am interested in WV. I want to ask you to look at my site which is or
    I think the how we think of ourselves as mountaineers needs to change before some of the physical will. I am trying to get churches together in their own communities to work together. These groups of community churches could encourage these types of acttivies among their people. Just a thought. Pastor Ron George Jr. of the
    thanks for all you are doing.

    • Hi Pastor Ron,

      Thanks for your encouraging comments and your good work. There is considerable interest statewide in forming a healthy church movement. If it’s OK with you, I’ll pass along your contact info.