News and Tribune

December 16, 2013

Growing Healthy Lives offers mini grants

Deadline to apply is next month


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Ideas and actions leading to healthier lifestyles have taken more of the spotlight in Clark County in the past two years, thanks to a grant from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the engagement of community leaders like those who comprise the Growing Healthy Lives initiative.

With a focus on more walking and biking opportunities for all citizens, GHL is now putting dollars to the increasing interest of businesses, neighborhoods, and individuals in sustaining positive changes for healthy living.

GHL is offering mini grants — from $300 to $5,000 — to nonprofits or entities like municipalities, coalitions, and other groups for projects that promote walking and/or biking in Clark County. Because of GHL’s previous investments in Jeffersonville projects, preference will be given to communities outside Jeffersonville that will use the money to fund services and not general operating expenses.

The application is available through the GHL link on the Wellness Coalition of Southern Indiana’s website at The deadline is Thursday, Jan. 16, and projects must begin no later than April 1. An initial progress report will be due within 90 days of the onset, and a final report will be due within 30 days of the project’s completion.

Applicants will be asked to relate their proposed project to GHL’s goal of creating more walk-able and bike-able communities, explain the problems or needs the project will address, and detail the extent of those who will benefit. GHL encourages collaborations as people apply for and then work together to produce results by using these mini grants.

GHL’s 17 team members from diverse areas of the community have invested time and funds to involve others and their ideas in formulating the strategies to make Clark County a healthier place to live, work, and play. The results have been a growing enthusiasm and awareness, according to Dennis Enix, co-chair of the team that was formed in 2011 when Clark County received a Pioneering Healthier Communities grant from the CDC. The funding, to be used over three years, has supported many such initiatives at sites throughout the country in recent years that have been convened by local YMCAs.

Local team members have served on committees and invested financial resources in the new Jeffersonville Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The success of that plus other efforts prompted GHL to focus on reaching more outlying communities through these mini grants.

For more information, go to the website or call Jennifer Harris, wellness director at the YMCA of Southern Indiana/Clark County Branch and member of both GHL and the Wellness Coalition, at 812-283-9622/Ext. 119.