Officials with the Wellmark Foundation have announced 14 recipients of its 2014 Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grant program in Iowa. The 14 competitively awarded grants create pilot efforts or expand health initiatives that focus on childhood obesity prevention and community-based wellness projects. Among the grant recipients was Live Well Council Bluffs, which received a $75,000 grant for the “Council Bluffs Bike Sharing Pilot” project.
Live Well Council Bluffs is creating a pilot bike-sharing program in Council Bluffs that will be run in conjunction with an existing bike-sharing program in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area: Omaha B-Cycle. The funding request is to start the program, not to maintain it.
And, the Rebuild and Recover Mapleton Foundation and the Monona County Alliance, which was awarded a $75,000 grant, for their “Mapleton Active Living by Design” project.
While planning for long-term disaster recovery, Mapleton’s Rebuild and Recover Committee became aware that many in Mapleton could not walk to or safely access recreational and educational sites by any means other than driving. In an analysis of infrastructure and activity, assisted by Iowa State University, landscape architects and Iowa DOT, they learned that the barriers of highways and discontinuous and broken sidewalks combined with poor lighting inhibited children from walking or biking to school and made access to recreational facilities and nearby necessities like groceries difficult for every age group. They plan to build safe highway crossings and well-lit complete sidewalks to enhance access to school.
This was the second year that The Wellmark Foundation offered the MATCH grant program. To view the grant opportunities available for 2015, visit the Wellmark Foundation website.