LiveWell Prowers County Outlines 2014 Goals

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Updates on the Prowers County Health Needs Assessment, diversify a common agenda among health groups, seek volunteers for community leadership groups, develop youth oriented projects, initiate a bicycle ownership program with the Project HOPE Center and help secure local funding to purchase age appropriate playground equipment.  This is an overview of what a portion of 2014 activities should include, as outlined by Emily Nieschburg of LiveWell Prowers County last week. 

Nieschburg said a $100,000 grant from LiveWell Colorado will help fund this type of work for the next two years, based on accomplishments.  She added that some new groups will work with local representatives in the planning process including The Civic Canopy, a non-profit Denver organization which helps develop health-oriented programs at a community level.  A partnership with a branch of the Colorado Department of Public Health was also suggested.  The Family Leadership Training Institute can help develop a 20 week training course for leadership training which has a 90% graduation rate.  She added that a new emphasis will work with early childhood development and not necessarily on the standard k-12 grades in the school district. 

One of the program mentioned involved combining the Project HOPE Center with LiveWell to increase the number of children riding bikes for exercise and getting bikes to them.  It was recently announced that the Lamar Police Department will turn over any unclaimed bikes that have been in their keeping to the project.  The project isn’t just for being able to ride a bike, but for being able repair them and keep them running.  Nieschburg said the closest bicycle repair business is probably in Pueblo.  The community building has a tool lending library and another one could be started at Lincoln School.  From there, she said, volunteers could lend a hand in repairs or even give some of the bikes a new coating of paint. 

The second program is to develop volunteers who would buy in to helping fund local schools to purchase age-appropriate playground equipment for youngsters.  This doesn’t necessarily include slides and swings, but more hands-on equipment such as hula-hoops, baseball equipment, soccer balls and other equipment that can be shared during recess breaks.  “Studies have found that the more active kids are, the more it correlates directly to their next immediate class and to their ability to retain their studies,” Nieschburg explained to the gathering last week. 

Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, provided an update on the latest North Gateway Park projects.  “We’re partnering with the Department of Parks and Wildlife to seek funds for the new park,” he explained.  Akers said a Fishing for Fun grant will be sought this March, a floating dock is planned for the first pond closest to the bridge, a handicapped accessible area will be constructed as well as a permanent rest room.  Other items on the planning board include an archery range and a 1.5 mile walking trail on the acreage.   Akers said the Two Shot Goose Hunt committee is partnering to help raise funds and come this spring, the city plans to begin a revegetation project.  Akers added that fishing will always be a form of recreation on site, “Five thousand trout were stocked in the ponds last year and there are plans for more in the future.”
By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: communityCountyEducationEntertainmentFeaturedHealthLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolYouth


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