Building Healthy Communities I Clinton County
Clinton County is one of the most rural counties in New York State—and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Home to Adirondack National Park, Lake Champlain, ski areas, campgrounds, and golf courses, the county is visited by thousands of tourists each year. For the county’s low-income residents, however, many of these activities are out of reach for them. Poverty and unreliable transportation are exacerbated by geographic isolation, as residents must travel farther for nearly everything: school, health care, exercise, food, and social activities. Lack of access to healthy food is also a major problem—more than 75% of the population does not consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Although the area is rich in agriculture, the county’s food prices are also higher compared with downstate.
Grantee Name: Clinton County Health Department
Project Title: Clinton County Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Grant Amount: $250,000
Grantee Name: Clinton County Health Department
Project Title: Clinton County Healthy Neighborhoods Fund Phase 2
Grant Amount: $300,000
Community Fast Facts
- 17% of residents in Clinton County live below the poverty line (higher than State average of 15.6%);
- 22% of the population smokes (higher than State average of 14.5%);
- 21% of children are obese;
- Plattsburgh City Beach on Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater beach in the continental United States; and
- Approximately 603 farms are in the county but very few formal farmers markets exist.
- Increase access to healthy and affordable foods through the implementation of a healthy certification program for local food retailers; and
- Enhance and activate spaces for physical activity for residents across the age spectrum.
What We’ve Achieved to Date
- Designed and implemented a locally tailored Better Choice Retailer program (a healthy food certification program for small food retailers) that has now grown to more than 20 local convenience stores and food store outlets. These food outlets, typically located in food deserts, received technical assistance to offer and display healthier food items. Local farmers also reached out to CCHD in an effort to provide these retailers with produce items to promote healthy, local produce and keep more dollars in the local community; and
- Recruited 17 local farmers to accept the local food incentive program, Farm Fresh Cash, creating more opportunities for the neediest residents to purchase local, fresh food.
Built Environment & Physical Activity:
- Improved the Cadyville Trail, which included the mapping and marking of three other connecting trails and the addition of a new map signboard at the trailhead;
- Developed a new resident-driven walking path in the Village of Rouses Point, which creates a continuous walking loop around the village’s civic center and connects area residents to Lake Champlain. Through an NYSHealth-funded ioby campaign, residents also raised funds to purchase outdoor fitness equipment to be installed in late spring 2017;
- Restored a playground in the hamlet of Perry’s Mills in the Town of Champlain; and
- Used complementary funding awarded to the Foundation of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital to retrofit 10 inactive outdoor and indoor spaces for public use, and established a Fitness in the Parks program at 6 locations across the county to serve youth. The 10 public spaces were refurbished for activities such as tennis, pickleball, and soccer golf courses. Parks and Recreation staff are maintaining the courts and continue to coordinate organized
leagues to increase use. The Fitness in the Parks initiative was located at existing parks within 13 towns, exposing young people to age-appropriate activities such as archery, karate, and yoga.
- Created a video series, Better Choices, Better Health, to inform residents about healthy food and physical activity options in Clinton County and motivate them to make choices that lead to better health; and
- Launched an online directory of healthy lifestyle programs and events calendar that allows users to search for health improvement programs, specific physical activity opportunities, and classes and events aimed at increasing knowledge of healthy nutrition practices.
- United Way of the Adirondack Region;
- Clinton County Public Transit;
- Clinton County Planning Department;
- Cornell Cooperative Extension; and
- University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
What We’re Investing In
- Be the One!
- Expanding the Saranac River Trail Greenway to Facilitate Resident Physical Activity
- Improving the Nutritional Quality of Food Pantry Donations in Clinton County
- Overcoming Obstacles to Food Access in Clinton County
- Shape Up Clinton County: Activating Public Spaces and Creating Opportunities for Healthy Living