Collinsville (November 7, 2016) – The City of Collinsville on Monday was honored by representatives from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) who recognized city officials and local partners for their commitment to improving health and quality of life in their community.
The City of Collinsville has been a Certified Healthy Community through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program the past five years. This certification has made them eligible to receive grants through the TSET Healthy Communities Incentive Grant program. In 2012, Collinsville received an incentive grant in the amount of $5,000 and was awarded another grant in 2013 for $20,000. The city is now being recognized for its 2015 Gold Level achievement and $25,000 grant.
Collinsville has utilized $50,000 of the Healthy Communities Incentive grant funds to make improvements to their city park. Some of these improvements include; adding an additional 3 miles of all-weather walking and mountain bike trails, and improvements to the tennis courts, parking area, restrooms, signage, etc.
Members of the Collinsville community played an important role in these park and trail improvements. Private citizens brought the all-weather trails project to the attention of city leaders and in-kind labor was provided by city employees and numerous volunteers.
TSET’s incentive grant funding for communities is based on population size and the types of strategies implemented. Cities that have met TSET’s criteria and been awarded a grant are able to determine how the incentive funding will be used to promote health in their communities. Grant funds are frequently used to leverage other funds for community projects that advance health.
As part of the criteria for the grant, the City of Collinsville City Council voted to make all city property tobacco-free and vapor-free and adopted street and zoning policies that improve the walkability and biking in their community. These efforts help encourage residents to live healthy, active, tobacco-free lifestyles.
TSET offers incentive grants to eligible communities that have met criteria established for the program such as tobacco-free policies, availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, and increasing opportunities for residents to become more physically active.
To be eligible to apply communities must first be recognized through the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program, a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Since the Healthy Communities Incentive Grant program began five years ago, $2.1 million in grant funds have been awarded to 56 communities.
“We are thrilled to offer incentives to cities and towns that have taken action to improve health in their communities,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “Working together we can make the healthy choice, the easy choice, where Oklahomans live, work, learn and play.”
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Julie Bisbee, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.