North Carolina Greenways


Narrator: The Guide to Community
Preventive Services What Works to Promote Health presents The Community Guide in action Creating Walkable Communities in Rural Granville County,
North Carolina The Community Guide includes
Task Force findings and recommendations to reduce obesity and increase physical activity. Obesity is a growing health
problem in the United States; and barely half of U.S. adults and a third of high school students meet current physical activity standards. We know that increasing physical
activity is one way to combat obesity and the chronic
diseases associated with it. We also know that
people need safe, convenient, and pleasant
places to be physically active. Granville County, North Carolina
is addressing this challenge by using Task Force
recommendations for environmental and
policy approaches to promote physical activity. The Granville Greenways
Master Plan outlines a built environment that promotes active lifestyles by providing places for people
to be physically active. Brian Alligood: Our Greenways
Master Plan is an overall plan that looks at the entire county
and looks at areas where we can make connecting
points, not only locally, but nationally. The process started locally and
then as it grew it looked at how can we tie in, as well, to
those existing trails, what are those factors
that are detriments to the community’s health and
how can we address those? And this was one of those
things that fit right in. Jackie Sergent: My role in the
Greenways Project began when I was the primary coordinator for our community health assessment process here in
Granville County. At the end of that process we had determined a number of priority areas to focus on. One of them was abating the premature death rate from various chronic diseases; heart disease, cancer and diabetes were the key areas. We formed a work group to
address these problems and determined that we wanted to do
environmental and policy change interventions to try to make an
impact on the early death rate from chronic disease. One of the resources that I used
was The Community Guide which helped inform those of
us working in public health about the types of interventions that
can actually make a difference. And that led us to creating
or increasing access to places for physical activity. Hubert Gooch: The people in
Granville County have been, for the most part, very receptive to the— we had some individual cases, property owners who have been sort of anti-trails because they did not want
them crossing their property—but presently we have two completed
trails in Granville County. The first one we
built we built in Butner. It was built mostly on public
property, state property. And once we built that one and
people realized how beneficial they were… Jackie Sergent: People are very much in favor of greenways if they are over there, but
not if they have a concern that they are coming
in their backyard. But as we move forward and more and more trails
get on the ground, people, I think, will see what
the outcome is of the trail and be less and less worried
that something negative is going to come to their neighborhood. Mark Kaplan: The town of Butner
and the county of Granville County had contacted us about putting the
greenway through our property. And since I was aware of how
well the greenways worked in my town, I thought that
it would be a good thing for the company to support them. Now that it’s been
open for a few months, it really surprises all of us
how often people use it and how popular it’s become, even
in a short period of time. Vickey: All of our employees
have an opportunity now for a good, clean place to walk
that you don’t have to worry about snakes or mud. It’s a nice area. Jackie Sergent: We had a
wide variety of stakeholders. It was called the Health Promotion
Work Group at that time. We had members from
the faith community; we had members from
various municipalities and throughout the county. Brian Alligood:
The school system, the health system,
the health department, lots of people involved. Melissa Hodges: The greenways
in Butner really got started as part of the Granville
County Master Plan. And once we incorporated,
Granville County approached us with some grant opportunities that as a local government
we could pursue. Butner doesn’t have
a lot of sidewalks. There is, I would say, eight
to ten blocks of sidewalk within the entire town. Originally Butner was— originally Camp Butner World War II training camp. And there were a lot of asphalt
sidewalks and property owners wanted them removed. Now property
owners want them back, so that’s been a big initiative is connecting to the existing sidewalks. I thought the
greenways were excellent. I am thrilled
because greenways really, they’re more than
just one component. There are so many
things to greenways. They help with transportation
which improves air quality as well as reducing
congestion on the roadways. They provide recreation. But then they also
have a health benefit. Leonard Peace: I saw the greenway
initiative as a good way for school and community to come
together for a good cause. Now that the school trail
is in operation between the Butner Stem Middle School and
the Butner Stem Elementary School, I think it’s a great idea. We have people using it and
there has been no negative responses from anyone
since it’s been in operation. Jackie Sergent: After learning
more about The Community Guide and what it can bring to
bear on impacts and outcomes, the Board of Health… we now, the Granville Vance
District Health Department does have a policy that
says that we should look to The Community Guide as our
basis before we move forward. Why wouldn’t we want to
use The Community Guide as our primary resource? It’s the first place you look to see: what are the ideas that work? what is recommended? It seems so obvious that we
would want to see what has already been proven
to make a difference. We want to use
evidence-based practices. Look to a resource that
is objective and has good information, and see if there’s
something in there that you can take away and apply to
your own jurisdiction. I feel so lucky that I knew
about The Community Guide when I first started this work because I am not sure that we
would be where we are today with progress with greenways
in Granville County had I not gotten the information
from The Community Guide about the value of creating and
increasing access to places to be physically active. Narrator: Granville County
in North Carolina used the following Task Force
findings and recommendations on promoting physical activity: • Creation of or enhanced access
to places for physical activity combined with, informational
outreach activities, • Community-scale urban
design and land use policies, • Street-scale urban design
and land use policies, and • Transportation and travel
policies and practices. The Guide to Community
Preventive Services is an essential resource for people
who want to know what works in public health. It provides evidence-based
findings and recommendations from the Community Preventive
Services Task Force about community preventive
services, programs, and policies to improve health. The Task Force is an
independent, nonfederal, unpaid group of public health
and prevention experts. It bases its findings
and recommendations on systematic reviews of
the scientific literature. With oversight from the Task Force,
scientists and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention conduct these reviews in
collaboration with a wide range of government, academic, policy,
and practice-based partners. Find out what works to
promote health and safety in your community. The Community Guide includes: • Evidence-based Task Force
findings and recommendations • Systematic review methods • Interventions on more than
20 public health topic areas • Information on how to use
The Community Guide • And more! You can also sign up
to get e-mail notices when new information of
interest to you is posted. Visit The Community
Guide website at www.thecommunityguide.org.

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