Participants at a Try This workshop

Participants at a Try This workshop


Try This II!

The highlight of our healthy futures calendar here in West Virginia is the annual Try This WV conference in June. This year over 500 people from across the state gathered to share hands on projects on healthy cooking, gardening and physical activity. Highlights included youth leaders sharing their community efforts in gardening, organizing prevention activities and service.

Here’s a link to the schedule of over 40 workshops we had to choose from:

In 2014, Try This helped both our Logan and Lincoln county focus a number of ideas and we earned two mini grants.

On Big Ugly we are working with families to increase our standards for healthy food: we no longer serve sugar infused drinks (pop and most fruit juices) at our family nights. This summer we are going to have kids have a healthy food tracking sheet to log in how many servings of fruit and vegetables they eat each day to add a competitive spirit. Kids will also use pedometers (donated through a partnership we made at Try This) to keep track of their steps and physical activity.

In Logan, we are working on a marketing grant to up our game in that area. A local chamber of commerce, a library, and a summer school program have all agreed to be places for market events.

We are currently working on a mini grant to get kids interested in combining geo caching and agroforestry for healthy foods and physical activity. We are going from the old school (using a compass), to GPS maps that don’t require internet to classic geo caching where we have cell phone reception to mark paths where a family could take a mountain hike and encounter seasonal edibles and herbs.

And of course we were able to trade notes on getting people of all ages involved with gardens, applying for a high tunnel grant, models of value added goods for marketing and many other arenas on the continuum of Grow Appalachia goals. It was like a one stop shop for all our required workshop areas and more.

The 500 include guest presenters and workshop participants from out of state as well. A PhD student from University of Kentucky, working this summer with a doctor promoting running for health, talked about how much he wished they had something like this in the Bluegrass state. Why recreate the wheel? Please come in 2016—the date June 4-5 and the location (West Virginia Wesleyan that provides their space free of charge) have already been set: