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Building Healthy Communities



Building Healthy Communities

The end of 2016 marked the end of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to improve the health of Michigan citizens, especially youth (ages 6 – 12) and adults, by enhancing and capitalizing on the state’s public parks and recreation system.

Under the grant, mParks provided materials/resources and support for, tools, staffing and other materials as necessary to nine communities to implement Come Out and Play (COAP) and Walk With Ease (WWE) in 12 parks. Funding also supported SOPARC evaluations to measure park use, the development of a tobacco-free parks and beaches toolkit, as well as park and trail enhancements, policy development and implementation, and community outreach to promote parks as places to be fit and active. Thank you to our 9 communities that participated in the BHC grant! 

  • City of Ypsilanti: Waterworks Park, Riverside Park- Bridge decking was replaced; This three-way bridge repairs completed connects on the county-wide Boarder-to-Boarder trail system has improved the City’s park and recreation areas by connecting the city to other parks. 

  • City of Boyne City: Avalanche Park- In partnership with the City and their master park plan, funds were used to support enhancements at Avalanche Park, specifically new multi-use trail, new signage, a gazebo, picnic tables, trash cans, and benches. The City will use internal funds and Public works staff/equipment for landscaping around park signs, gazebo, trail, equipment, etc. in the Spring 2017. 

  • Grass River Nature Area- Grass River Nature Area Trail signage and wayfinding was identified as the number one need in a community outreach survey. The enhancements have greatly improved the number of people visiting the nature area due to having a reliable trail mapping and wayfinding system. A parks-specific tobacco-free sign was developed and installed at the park.   

  • Superior Charter Township: Fireman's Park- Superior Township Parks and Recreation Department held a Park Open House inviting community to see new improvements. The park underwent major clean-up and brush/tree removal, as well as installment of trash cans, picnic tables, and signage. Installed a 2-bay swing set at Fireman’s Park with Park Improvement/Development money that was in our 2016 annual budget. Village of Manchester: Chi-Bro Park- Tree and brush removal, as well as removing old horseshoe pits to create an open space in the park, has allowed for the village to use that area to develop soccer fields in 2017. 

  • Otsego County: Otsego Park- Installed split-rail fencing, benches, small gravel trail around park perimeter; signage. By using the funds from the grant program we were able to convince the county board of commissioners to hand a piece of county owned property over to the parks department to develop into a new park, and a stream of county funds was made available to help with the initial development of the property. A parks-specific tobacco-free sign was developed and installed at the park.  

  • Mackinaw City; Hertiage Park- Park clean up and planting was completed as well as installing benches, picnic tables and signage. A parks-specific tobacco-free sign was developed and installed at the park.  Completed new surface under the playground as well as resurfacing their basketball court and adding picnic tables and signage. A parks-specific tobacco-free sign was developed and installed at the park.   

  • Saline Parks and Recreation Department: Henne Park; Tefft Park- Signage was added to the park highlighting trails, providing maps with mileage and points of interest. Ypsilanti Township: Apple Ridge Park- Gravel walking path was added around play area, allowing caregivers to be present around children but also be active walking the loop. The loop was measured at ¼ mile for 2 laps (indicated in signage at play area).


mParks BHC Report