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Grant kicks off 'Active Hubbard County' campaign

From left: Leah Pigatti, Northwest Minnesota Foundation director; Dr. Maurice Spangler, Itascatur Club; Matthew Dyrdahl, Headwaters Regional Development Commission physical planner; Raeann Mayer, St. Joseph's Area Health Services community health manager; Deb Haagenson, St. Joseph's Area Health Services patient care vice president. (Submitted photo)

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation recently awarded a grant for $15,000 for the "Active Hubbard County" Project. The Headwaters Regional Development Commission will be leading a new "Active Living Campaign" that will include all of Hubbard County.

The HRDC envisions its entire region, including Hubbard County, as a place where all modes of transportation are respected, the area is recognized as being safe and healthy, physical activity is common and accessible, travel corridors have strong connection points, and home to school routes are safe for all children.

To help this vision become a reality, the HRDC will lead a planning process that will include a wide variety of partners from throughout Hubbard County, building upon the successes already achieved through the Healthy Park Rapids Area 2020 project.

Specific work program items will include: Developing a strong partnership from all communities in the county; maintaining and sustaining the partnership; developing and prioritizing strategies; beginning implementation of top priorities; planning for sustainability beyond the HRDC's involvement and leadership.

Besides the NMF grant, the project has funding support from the Healthy Park Rapids Area 2020, Itascatur Club, and the HRDC's Successful Communities Fund.

According to Jim Steenerson, NMF senior program officer - grants, the project is well-positioned for success. "Recent parks and trails planning in Park Rapids laid the groundwork for future expansion of walkable/bikeable infrastructure within that community," he said. "Also, Hubbard County's Board of Commissioners and the City of Park Rapids have both passed resolutions supporting an Active Living Campaign in the County."

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is a public community foundation serving Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau Counties. NMF invests resources, creates opportunities and promotes philanthropy to make the region a better place to live and work.