Our understanding of what makes a good “built environment” has evolved dramatically in the last several decades. Commercial buildings, houses and schools, sewers and power lines, streets, sidewalks and trails, parks and plazas, lighting and outdoor works of art – these are all examples of what makes up our built environment.
Neighborhoods of the mid-20th Century featured evenly-spaced blocks of straight streets and square lots and a tree in every front yard. Commercial areas, where you’d find a grocery store, were purposefully located a short car-drive away. There was one way in and one way out, and the nearby interstate interchange was a major selling point.
Today, we understand that built environment, done well, creates opportunities for engaging with neighbors, exploring new spaces, eating healthier foods and nurturing both human creativity and environmental sustainability, all things that contribute greatly to public health. Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), when you live and work in a safe and healthy environment, you’re more likely to be and stay healthy.
Building Better Communities
|Chattanooga, TN||Main Terrain Art Park|
|Driggs, ID||City Center Plaza|
|Jackson, MS||Art Garden|
|Berea, KY||Wayfinding Design|
|Columbus, IN||Cultural & Creative Capital|
A healthy built environment doesn’t just happen. It’s intentional, planned. And it takes ongoing, coordinated community efforts that involve civic leaders, area organizations, businesses and residents.
We at The Greater Clark Foundation are committed to being a part of growing a healthier built community in Clark County, Kentucky. Here are the built environment projects in which we are currently engaged:
- Legacy Grove Park– This ambitious community undertaking will turn the 30 acres on which the Clark Regional Medical Center was formerly located in Winchester, Ky. into an imaginative public park.
- Bike/Walk Projects
The Winchester Alley Tour (WAT) is an eight mile trail through the city’s historic and beautiful alleys. One of the first urban alleyway trails in Kentucky, it takes walkers and bicyclists through downtown Winchester, as well as the College Park and Community Park neighborhoods. The alleys are safe and low-speed pathways, providing safe and fun recreational opportunities for families and individuals. Sites of interest along the WAT include the Bluegrass Heritage Museum and Depot Street.
Access the routes by clicking here.
- Bike Rental Program-Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation (WCCPR) is helping community members be more active with its bike rental program. Youth and adults can rent bicycles, helmets, bike trailers, and run/walk strollers for hourly rates.An award from the Paula Nye Memorial Education Grant Program was used to buy the bike rental equipment. The grant was funded by Kentucky drivers who purchased “Share the Road” license plates. You can support this program by doing the same.
These bicycle programs stem from efforts to improve conditions for bicycling and walking throughout the community. Following a community health assessment for Winchester and Clark County, the community identified obesity as a strategic priority for its health improvement plan. The assessment was funded through a partnership between the Clark County Health Department and GCF.