(First published in the April 14, 2016, Lincoln Sentinel)
Back in January there was an article in the newspaper about a new coalition, Live Healthy Lincoln County, forming to develop and implement projects geared towards improving the county’s overall health and wellness.
From the beginning, I have been excited about this group. Everyone is motived, eager and open to new ideas. To top that off, the group has access to real funding to implement ideas. This funding is frequently referred to as the ‘1422 Grant’ available to five counties in north central Kansas.
The first big task of the group is to gather input from as many residents, officials, youth, senior citizens, business owners, and other stakeholders as possible to determine our county’s needs and wants. There has been much discussion for years (and years and years) over a wellness center, hiking and biking trails, improved parks and swimming pool, frisbee disc golf course, etc. All of these sound great but where do we start? What’s the first priority? What will people use and support? What is nothing more than wishful thinking?
Gathering input has begun and will stretch over the next couple weeks. Here is how you can provide input:
Take a survey: The Live Healthy Lincoln County Facebook page and website (googling ‘Live Healthy Lincoln County’ will probably be the quickest way to find it) has a link to the online survey. If you prefer a paper version, you can pick one up at the county health department or call them (785-524-4406) and they will drop a survey in the mail to you. The deadline for survey responses is May 15th.
Participate in a stakeholder meeting: Invitations have gone out in the mail to many people representing different municipalities, organizations, businesses, and residents known to be involved in projects that may directly relate to health and wellness. If you received one of these invitations, please pay attention to it and consider attending. We sent you an invitation because we truly value your thoughts. If you didn’t receive an invitation and would like to attend, please know you are also more than welcome. Call Sheri or Gaylene at the county health department and they will gladly plug you in to one of the meetings.
Participate in the vision workshop: In another month or two, all of the input will be put together and participants will have the opportunity to take the input and shape it into a grand plan, a Healthy and Active Strategic Plan. This plan will set the priorities and give the Live Healthy Lincoln County group clear direction for projects they know is needed, wanted and will be supported by the broader community.
In the meantime, there are other ways to participate in health initiatives. Walk Kansas has begun. The WorkWell Kansas workshop is coming to Lincoln on May 5. And the LHLC’s Color Me Healthy 5k will be part of the Lincoln Alumni weekend in June.
If you have any questions about the Live Healthy Lincoln County group, the overall plan or economic development initiatives in general, please feel to stop by the LCEDF office in the county courthouse basement at 216 E. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln, give me a call at 785-524-8954, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation