SYRACUSE — Residents and visitors to the park and baseball fields in Syracuse will now have new sidewalks to walk around, as well as new concrete in the batting cage area.
The project was recently completed through funding by the Creating Healthy Communities program at the Meigs County Health Department.
Contractor Chris Smith and his crew poured around 4,000 square feet of concrete in the King Field area of the park, with the walkways, entrance paths and wheelchair space near the bleachers. The new sidewalks are ADA compliant, explained Smith.
Creating Healthy Communities Grant Coordinator Sara Hill explained that the new sidewalks connect in with existing walking areas providing a safe place for individuals to walk in the area.
Council members David Poole and Barry McCoy also assisted with determining the location for the new sidewalks at the park, said Hill.
The Creating Health Communities Program is working on several other projects around the county this year.
In addition to the Syracuse project, CHC projects for fiscal year 2020 consist of the PRx program, possible improvements at Camp Kiashuta, the adoption of a Food Service Guideline Policy at the Syracuse concession stand, and working on having the village of Pomeroy adopt a Complete Streets policy.
Hill explained, the PRx program is a pilot program with seven type-2 diabetic patients who receive vouchers as a form of prescription from their doctor. The vouchers act as money and can be redeemed for fresh produce only at Powell’s Foodfair and/or the Meigs County Farmers’ Market. The PRx program started in May and will end in October.
”This program is a study to ultimately prove incorporating fresh produce in one’s diet can improve their condition. Questions and biometric tracking have been asked throughout the six month program. The data will be collected at the end to see if their diabetic condition improved with access to more fruits and veggies,” explained Hill.
Hill stated that possible improvements at Camp Kiashuta are still under discussion on what type of exercise equipment should be put in place.
Hill worked with the Youth League President of Syracuse to adopt a Food Service Guideline policy.
”A FSG policy is something in writing stating they will serve more health conscious items (fruits, veggies, diet soda, flavored water, etc.). This will create a healthier environment for everyone utilizing the stand and give them an opportunity to make healthier food choices. Because they adopted the FSG policy, CHC funds provided a new refrigeration unit to help store the addition of the new health conscious items,” explained Hill.
The final project currently in the works is with the Village of Pomeroy. Hill is working with Pomeroy to adopt a Complete Streets Policy, which is still in the infancy stages. This project will be carried out into next year. A Complete Streets policy is adopted in consideration of all modes of transportation. It ultimately promotes safe active transportation, where older thoughts focused solely on safe motorized transportation.
“All of these projects fall within CHC requirements, and improve health equity within Meigs County,” added Hill.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.