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Healthy Community Grants awarded through Crow Wing Energized

Crow Wing Energized awarded more than $11,000 through three Healthy Community Grants to support efforts to move the community to a place where the healthy choice is the easy choice.

The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team of Northern Pines Mental Health Center in Brainerd received $3,660. This grant will be used to enhance the existing rehabilitative program to support those who experience mental health illness and are making the healthy choice to stop tobacco use.

Through the proven ACT program, individuals will be coached through a recovery process that focuses on good nutrition and exercise to have a positive impact on all aspects of their lives.

A second grant of $2,850 was awarded to the Forestview Middle School Youth Garden and Junior Master Gardeners Program, which is a program of the Brainerd School District's Community Education.

Funds will be used to improve the health of the students and families by creating and sustaining a youth garden on the Forestview Middle School grounds, offering a Junior Master Gardeners program for students in grades 5-8 taught by CWC Master Gardener volunteers, and building sustainability into the garden and identifying educational opportunities.

The Northland Arboretum received the most recent grant of $5,000 to design and build an outside Accessible Wellness Fitness Trail. Mary Corrigan, arboretum director, said the trail will consist of walking, running and 12 exercise stations to provide a community fitness program for people of all ages.

Grant applications to Crow Wing Energized, a grassroots community movement led by Essentia Health and Crow Wing County to improve health and wellness in the community by making healthy choices essential, continue to be accepted. The next application deadline is Jan. 19, 2015.

Organization criteria for applying includes serving or located within Crow Wing County, including but not limited to neighborhood, youth or environmental groups; faith-based organizations; health care organizations; civic or citizens' associations; economic development agencies; local government entities; local businesses; school districts and other similar groups.

Applicants are not required to be incorporated 501(c)3 organizations.

Applicant projects need to align with the Crow Wing Energized guiding principles as well as Minnesota Department of Health Statewide Health Improvement Program's (SHIP) financial guide:

• Creating and sustaining a united approach to improving health and wellness in Crow Wing County.

• Collaboration toward solutions with multiple stakeholders (e.g. schools, worksites, medical centers) to improve community engagement and commitment focused on improving community health.

• Being anchored in evidence based efforts around greatest community good that can be achieved through available resources.

The Healthy Community Grants are made available through SHIP funding that was awarded to Crow Wing Energized. Grant applications are reviewed monthly by the Crow Wing Energized Community Leadership Team and Goal Groups.

Healthy Choices goal group develops sustainable strategies and encourages healthy choices by increasing access to healthy foods, increasing active living opportunities, and helping to promote and support the healthy environments.

Mental Fitness goal group encourages and equips citizens in achieving and maintaining mental fitness by building networks throughout the county for achieving resilience, increasing the practice of intentional choices to help reduce stress and anxiety, and educating our communities to increase the knowledge of mental fitness so it will help to make positive choices regarding their overall health.

Workplace Wellness goal group helps to create a healthy and energized workforce by increasing employee satisfaction, maximizing productivity, minimizing absenteeism, and helping to reduce health care costs.

For a Healthy Community Grant application, visit crowwingenergized.org"Resources" page. To learn more about Crow Wing Energized and what its community partners are currently doing, contact Cassie Carey, Crow Wing Energized coordinator, at Cassie.Carey@crowwingenergized.org or 218-821-6975.

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