MEIGS COUNTY — Meigs County residents now have more ways to create a healthy lifestyle thanks to the Meigs County Health Department and two grants: Creating Healthy Communities, which is through the Ohio Department of Health, and Together on Diabetes, which is through Marshall University.
Laura Cleland, Grant Coordinator at the Meigs County Health Department, said that by the end of the year the department will hopefully have about 20 projects ongoing through these two grants. Currently, she said, there are many projects that the Health Department wants the community to know about.
Currently the largest project is a new farmers market that began Sunday, July 19 in partnership with Alligator Jacks Flea Market. The first Sunday of the new farmers market saw nine local vendors participating, with two more vendors joining the event in subsequent weeks. The market is set to run from noon to 4 p.m. through Oct. 25. Cleland said that a new season startup date for next year has not yet been decided, but will probably be in late June or early July.
“It’s been well received and successful,” Cleland said.
For a special event Aug. 30, Katie McGushin, a chef from Hocking College, will be at the farmers market to demonstrate how to cook four meals from Rural Action’s cookbook, which shares healthy recipes using locally grown produce. Samples will also be available. The farmers market is through the Together on Diabetes and Creating Healthy Communities grants.
Starting Monday, Middleport and Pomeroy public libraries will be implementing a new bike rental program called “Book a Bike,” in which residents who have a library card may borrow one of ten bikes found at either library for a total of three hours per day. Five bikes can be found in Middleport, the other five in Pomeroy. Anyone renting a bike at one library may return it to the same library or the other library when they are finished.
For security purposes, anyone participating in this program will need to sign a consent form which will go one file, and those who have a driver’s license will also need to provide it to the library so that a copy can be made. Bikes must also be returned within one half hour of the library closing. For the Middleport Library Monday through Saturday, bikes must be returned by 5:30 p.m. For the Pomeroy Library Monday through Friday, bikes must be returned by 7:30 p.m. and during Pomeroy Library’s Sunday hours bikes must be returned by 4:30 p.m.
Any children ages 0-11 must have a parent or guardian present when borrowing bikes. Anyone ages 12-17 may borrow bikes without an adult present, but must have a parent or guardian’s signed consent form on file. The bike rental program is through the Together on Diabetes grant.
Another Pomeroy project involved the resurfacing of the village’s basketball courts. Like the “Book a Bike” program, the resurfacing project was made possible by both grants. Currently, the department is waiting for an estimate on new posts, backboards, rims and nuts (the fabric part of a basketball goal). Meigs High School also received assistance in the form of culverts, or tubing, that facilitated rain runoff that had been washing away some of the hills near the school. Cleland said the culverts can also help prevent against runoff-related injuries.
Eastern Local Schools have also received aid in the form of the pavement of a walking trail that can be found weaving through around the building. The trail previously consisted of crushed gravel. The paving makes the trail safer for use, Cleland said.
“Before and after school hours, staff, students and residents can use the trail, and that’s nice for parents who have kids in sports (too),” she said. “They can walk while their child participating. We encourage the parents to use the trail and residents as well.”
The trail pavement is made possible through the Creating Healthy Communities Grant.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.