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TDH Announces Communities Funded by Access to Health through Healthy Active Built Environment Grants

Thursday, June 21, 2018 | 03:03pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health is pleased to announce recipients of the Access to Health through Healthy Active Built Environment grants, who are collectively being awarded more than $1.8 million in grant funding. The purpose of the grants is to award funding to communities to plan, develop, implement and assess sustainable projects and programs to increase access to safe and publicly-accessible opportunities for physical activity for a diverse group of users, including those who live, visit, work, play, worship and learn in the community.

“Where we live and how we live can matter much more than the genes we are born with, and we are learning more and more about how critical the physical environment is in that equation,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We have been so pleased with the response and excitement from communities around Tennessee for these opportunities to create more livable spaces that encourage physical activity and social engagement in ways that make life better for all of us.”

There are 35 grantees representing every region in Tennessee. Sixty-six percent of the grantees are from economically distressed or at-risk counties, as defined by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. Grantees are embarking on a diverse range of projects related to convening, programming, planning and construction of projects which promote physical activity, including outdoor fitness equipment, greenway construction and signage and creating park and/or recreation spaces such as playgrounds and walking tracks. Communities from 75 percent of Tennessee counties applied for the grants, totaling nearly $8 million in requested funding.

“Creating places for physical activity and crafting programming to encourage and incentivize exercise and play has the potential to positively influence the health of Tennesseans as well as the economic health of communities,” said Office of Primary Prevention Director Leslie Meehan, MPA, AICP.

Communities receiving Access to Health through Healthy Active Built Environment grants for 2018 include:

Decatur County Board of Education                                      The Works, Inc.                                                       Town of Greeneville

Town of Unicoi Rhea County                                                    City of Red Boiling Springs                                   City of Tullahoma

Town of Tracy City                                                                        Town of Cumberland Gap                                   Roane County 

TN Commission on Aging & Disability                                     Lake County, Tennessee                                      Chester County School System

The Heights Community Development Corporation           Town of Monterey                                                 Bledsoe County Board of Commissioners   

Union County Appalachian RC & D Council                            City of Brownsville                                                 Up & At 'Em 

Johnsonville State Historic Park                                                  Warren County Schools                                       Hickman County, Tennessee

Van Buren County                                                                          Overton County                                                      Polk County

Putnam County Parks and Recreation                                      Upper Cumberland Development District      City of Cleveland

Bell Buckle Park                                                                               Tennessee State Parks                                          City of Cowan 

City of Celina Oasis Center, Inc.

Learn more about our work to support healthy built environments at 

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at