Rifle receives LiveWell grants | PostIndependent.com

Rifle receives LiveWell grants

Ryan Hoffman

Rifle Parks and Recreation Department along with Rifle Senior Center are among the local organizations receiving funds for health-based initiatives in the most recent round of mini-grant funding from LiveWell Garfield County.

LiveWell awarded a total of $20,793 to organizations promoting healthy living and healthy eating throughout the county, said Dana Wood, LiveWell Garfield County coordinator.

For the Rifle Parks and Recreation Department, the $500 from LiveWell will help purchase new catchers equipment for the Valley Youth League baseball and softball program. The department provides each team with some equipment, such as helmets, said Wayne Edgeton, assistant recreation director for Rifle. The catchers equipment is especially expensive, and many of the kids who play in the league are not going to have the necessary safety equipment. Without the LiveWell money, Edgeton said the department likely could not have afforded to replace the catchers gear.

Parks and recreation also received around $830 for new soccer balls. With the establishment of a new summer soccer program in Rifle in the past year, the department desperately needed new soccer balls, Edgeton said, adding that he likes to provide a ball for every child and the head coach to reduce the cost.

Another $500 grant from Livewell went to the Rifle Senior Center to help pay for gardening materials. The center started the garden in 2014 as a means to grow produce for the center’s meals, and it was a huge success, said Bobbie Dungan, kitchen supervisor. Growing the produce in the center’s gardens is both financially beneficial and healthier for those eating the meals, and the additional funding allows the center to grow more produce, specifically tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, Dungan added.

Rifle Farmers Market was awarded $1,000 for signs and equipment to expand this season, and Grand River Health received $1,500 to develop healthy cooking classes aimed at lower-income residents.

LiveWell distributed $40,000 in mini-grant funding across the county in 2014 and the organization budgeted the same amount for 2015, Wood said.

Other Garfield County groups receiving grant funding include:

• Growing Food Forward received $5,000 to cover capital expenses for gardens and countywide workshops.

• Colorado Mountain College Upward Bound Program is getting $2,998 for a project that includes healthy food and snack preparation classes. The project will take place throughout a four-week summer camp held at the CMC Spring Valley Campus, where students will learn how to shop for healthy food by reading food labels for nutritional value, as well as how to prepare healthy meals and snacks on a budget. In addition, students will participate in weekly physical activities, and will end the program by preparing a healthy meal for LIFT-UP Extended Table. The program is targeted to teens from New Castle to Parachute.

• Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers was awarded $2,500 toward the Young Stewards Initiative program that focuses on engaging youth through trail projects. The goal is to increase participation by more youth in Garfield County, especially from New Castle, Silt and Rifle.

• LIFT-UP got $2,045 for a two-door refrigeration unit at its Glenwood Springs location to accommodate more fruits and vegetables from the LiveWell Gleaning Project.

• The town of New Castle received $2,000 for the purchase and installation of three bike racks throughout its downtown area.

• Garfield County Public Library District is getting $1,500 for materials to include Gardening with Children as part of the annual Summer Reading Program. The goal of Gardening with Children is to continue the gardening programming started in Silt and expand to the other five library locations. This year, the library district aims to add a connection to literature that will reinforce the ties between healthy food, gardening and stories as part of the learning process. A portion of the grant money will be used to purchase additional books on gardening and healthy eating for five of the branches. The program reaches 1,400 kids, plus their parents, annually.

• Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association was awarded $1,000 for partial funding of the South Canyon Trails Plan project.

• Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Ninth was granted $250 to the RIDE for the CHILD event on June 20. The LiveWell Garfield County Steering Committee decided to fund this mini grant application as a sponsorship, with money derived from its sponsorship program budget.

The next LiveWell Garfield County mini-grant cycle is this fall. More information can be found at http://www.garfield-county.com/livewell.

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