$10K grant could boost Hilltop, Lincoln District walkability programs

The City of Tacoma has applied for a $10,000 grant from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as part of the organization’s 2015 Walkability Grant Program, according to Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s most recent weekly report to Tacoma City Council.

If the application is approved and grant funds are awarded to the City, the money would be used to conduct door-to-door canvassing surveys and host organized community meetings to gather information about transportation habits in Tacoma’s Hilltop and Lincoln District neighborhoods, according to City staff. The grant would also be used to plan events that encourage pedestrians to use local streets for recreation and active transportation.

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According to the grant application available online, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is expected to award grants worth as much as $10,000 to as many as six local organizations. On Monday, a Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department representative told the Tacoma Daily Index a list of grant recipients is expected to be announced in October.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s Walkability Grant Program aims to improve walkability, health equity, and engagement in Pierce County communities in order to increase physical activity and prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and hearth disease.

More information is available online at tpchd.org.

UPDATE | MON., NOV. 2 @ 10:30 A.M. – The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department issued the following press release:

Six community organizations to get neighbors moving

‘Walkability’ grant recipients to pinpoint barriers to walking in our communities, make improvement plans

When more people get moving, rates of preventable, chronic disease goes down. But sometimes lack of safe access to walking areas gets in the way. Six community organizations will get grants to improve walkability in six areas.

TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has awarded six grants of $10,000 to community organizations to help promote more walking in local neighborhoods.

The money comes from a (amount) state Department of Health chronic disease prevention grant that promotes activities that lead to better health.

“Walking is a form of exercise that most everyone can do, but sometimes lack of safe areas for walking gets in the way,” said Miae Aramori, Physical Activity, Nutrition and Tobacco program manager for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. “We want to help organizations figure out how they can overcome the barriers to walking in their communities, so more people can get moving.”

The community organizations that receive the grants will work with their neighbors between now and September 2016 to conduct assessments and develop plans to increase walkability in their neighborhoods. “When the level of physical activity goes up, rates of chronic disease eventually goes down,” said Aramori.

The following organizations received $10,000 each:

  • Pierce Conservation District— Start walking groups, increased signage to promote walking in Salishan, Swan Creek and Food Forest areas.
  • City of Tacoma/Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods—Start walking groups in Hilltop and Lincoln neighborhoods.
  • Foundation for Healthy Generations/Salishan Community Health Advocates program—Start walking groups in the Salishan neighborhood.
  • Asia Pacific Cultural Center—Start walking groups and walkathons in the South Tacoma neighborhood.
  • Habitat for Humanity— Start walking groups in the Midland neighborhood.
  • Know Your Ropes— Start walking groups, painted pathways and maps to increase physical activity in Hilltop.

To kick off the work, Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas, walkability experts from BlueZones, will present best practices for walkable communities and walking audits at a workshop on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Karen Meyers, community liaison at the Health Department will also discuss best practices of community engagement. BlueZones helps people live longer, better lives through practical environmental changes that can improve quality of life.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to safeguard and enhance the health of the communities of Pierce County. As part of its mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

UPDATE | TUES., OCT. 13 @ 3:15 P.M. – Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Communications & Community Relations Manager Edie Jeffers provides the following update regarding an announcement of the 2015 Walkability Grant Program recipients:

“We plan to issue a release in early November after we’ve received contracts from our award recipients.”