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March 14, 2014

Clark County projects awarded $42K in grants

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Minus the beard and signature red outfits, Dennis Enix and Susan Barnett must have felt like Santa Claus on Friday as they handed out monetary gifts that fulfill a wish on the lists of six entities in Clark County.

Enix is the executive director of the YMCA of Southern Indiana/Clark County Branch and co-chair of the Center for Disease Control-funded Growing Healthy Lives (GHL) initiative, and Barnett is president of the Greater North Clark Healthcare Foundation (GNCHF). Both groups partnered to award $42,000 in grants to projects that promote walkability and bikeability for all ages in Clark County following a public invitation for applicants late last year.

Both organizations touted their commitment to strengthening the community and joining hands and funding to support efforts that will promote healthy living here in Clark County, Enix said.

Projects that received funding are:

• City of Jeffersonville: $15,000 from GHL to provide bicycle racks and repair stations throughout the city. This is in addition to the $5,000 grant that GHL awarded the city in 2013 to support its bicycle and pedestrian masterplan. In addition, some members of GHL participated in planning groups for the masterplan, which already has created 10 miles of shared or dedicated roadways. These eventually will extend to 30 miles hopefully by 2016, according to Shane Corbin, the city’s director of planning and zoning.

• Town of Borden: $5,000 from GHL to provide 80 or more trees around the perimeter of an existing walking path at the Borden Community Park to create an aesthetic barrier between the path and a sewage treatment plant.

• Town of Clarksville: $5,000 from GHL for outdoor workout equipment around an existing walking path at the Clarksville Little League Youth Complex within the Clarksville Parks Department to promote healthier lifestyles.

• Henryville Youth Sports: $5,000 from GNCHF and $2,000 from GHL to install a walking trail around the Henryville Youth Sports football field. The project will provide a safe, handicapped-accessible place for parents, grandparents, children, and the community of all ages to walk, run, or bike.

• Ivy Tech Community College: $2,500 from GHL and $2,500 from GNCHF to create a half-mile walking trail through 40 acres of woods on the Sellersburg campus that will be open to all 5,000 students, employees, and the public.

• Town of Utica: $5,000 from GHL to install two bicycle stations at key locations throughout the town plus bike route signage and educational classes to promote bike safety.

Jennifer Harris, wellness director of the YMCA of Southern Indiana/Clark County Branch, chaired the GHL grants committee and was assisted by GHL members Cile Blau, retired judge; Lori Harris, RN, MPA, and CEO of the Family Health Centers of Southern Indiana; and Enix. The YMCA of Southern Indiana is among YMCAs across the country that were selected by the YMCA of the USA in recent years to coordinate community health initiatives with the CDC funding in an initial three-year phase.

In addition to GHL members, GNCHF President Susan Barnett and vice president Karen Robinson participated in the grants presentation hosted by Ivy Tech. The idea to join with GNCHF to provide funding emerged when the two groups matched their desires to promote healthier lifestyles, Enix said.

He hopes that similar partnerships will become more prevalent as the public takes advantage of the growing number of opportunities to promote healthy walking and biking.

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