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Belchertown residents at a public forum in February hosted by the New England Sustainable Network's Design and Resiliency Team (DART), a group of architecture, transportation and economic development experts from around New England who came to Belchertown to look at long-term planning for nodes in the town center. 
Quick Updates

So much is going on in our region! Let's take a moment to summarize some important successes: 

The City of Northampton is in the process of developing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan that will designate priority projects to significantly improve, expand, and increase connectivity between Northampton’s network of pedestrian, bicycle, and non‐automobile travel modes. The Plan will articulate a clear vision to enhance walking and bicycling activities to serve all populations, with a special focus on urban underserved neighborhoods. For more information, see the City of Northampton’s webpage, and register your comments on the wikimap

Since 2008 the City of Northampton has followed the guidance on complete streets articulated through their Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan. In December 2015, the City Council elevated complete streets to the highest priority by enacting an ordinance to ensure that “pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities are fully integrated into a safe and efficient transportation system.”

The Williamsburg Council on Aging (COA) received a Healthy Community Design grant from the Mass Association of Health Boards, allowing the COA to partner with Healthy Hampshire and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to determine how well Williamsburg's policies and practices support healthy aging. As part of this process, Healthy Hampshire facilitated a lively focus group with older adults and co-hosted a walk audit and training with our technical assistance partners at WalkBoston

SNAP & Save, our collaboration with CISA that matches SNAP dollars at farmers' markets, wrapped up its pilot over summer 2015, and swung right into the winter market season, offering a $5 match at markets in Amherst and Northampton (as well as Greenfield and Forest Park). We are extremely proud of our partners at CISA for embarking on an ambitious fundraising campaign, Local Food for All, to raise enough money to offer a $10 match at markets in the three counties of the Pioneer Valley! That means $10 in SNAP + $10 in matching funds = $20 in tokens at the farmers market! We think this will make all the difference for those struggling to provide healthy food for their families, while balancing so many other financial challenges. 

New funding, expanded directions: Healthy Hampshire received an expansion of our Mass in Motion grant in fall 2015, which has allowed us to open up a partnership with the Hilltown Community Health Centers in Huntington and Worthington. This expanded funding will allow the Health Center to develop strategies to support people at risk for diabetes and heart disease in getting the preventative care they need, and will allow us to expand our community prevention activities into the Hilltown region. To better understand the region and its needs, we hired a researcher to conduct a Hilltown Health Assessment and will be hosting a Sustainable Design Assessment Team in the fall to engage the community in developing health-based goals and recommendations for the future development of the region.
Upcoming Events
Northampton Pedestrian and Bike Planning process
April and May 2016
Where: Various locations, see link. Main St Design public forums will be held on May 10th (location TBD) and a general public forum on May 18th at the Northampton Senior Center. Both will be from 6:30-8:00pm.

Joint Use Training
When: May 9, 6:00-8:30pm
Where: Williamsburg, exact location TBD
What: This training is offered by Healthy Hampshire/Mass in Motion and will focus on: 
Getting from Point A (the idea) to Point B (the reality) - an overview of the action steps that make sharing space easy and safe; How to Develop a Joint Use Budget - identify potential costs associated with joint use and locate sources of funding; Managing Risk - learn how Massachusetts law protects joint use site owners from liability exposure. Contact Sarah to RSVP or join contact list. 

25th Annual Youth Conference (hosted by Community Action)
When: Saturday, May 14th, 9:00am-3:30pm
Where: Turners Falls High School
What: Youth conference focused on "Breaking Barriers, Rising, Thriving." Healthy Hampshire will be offering a workshop as part of a food justice track organized by the Food Bank. 

Get ready for Baystate Bike Week!
When: May 14-22, 2016
Where: In many communities
What: Every May, Massachusetts residents and bike commuters come together to celebrate human-powered, two-wheeled transportation during Bay State Bike Week (BSBW). From Cape Cod to the Berkshires and everywhere around and in between, Commonwealth participants organize bike-centric events to encourage new riders and raise awareness about bicycle transportation.

Join Healthy Hampshire's Will Bike 4 Food Team! This year's event will be held on Sept. 25, 2016. Contact Caitlin Marquis for more information or click here to join the team. 
Mass DOT's Complete Streets Funding Program has launched for communities interested in passing complete streets policies and applying for funding or infrastructure improvements! If you are in a Mass in Motion community, additional technical assistance may be free--check out this Complete Streets TA Fact Sheet. 

Healthy Hampshire Program Manager, Sarah Bankert, talks with Monte Belmonte and Phil Korman of CISA during the Local Hero spotlight about the SNAP & Save program. 

Belchertown hosted the New England Sustainable Network's Design and Resiliency Team (DART), a group of architecture, transportation and economic development experts from around New England who came to Belchertown in February to look at long-term planning for nodes in the town center. Healthy Hampshire spearheaded the outreach and community engagement, which brought in over 120 people to two public forums. 

Read up on Northampton's Bicycle and Pedestrian Comprehensive Plan, funded in part by Healthy Hampshire, in a Daily Hampshire Gazette article from last month.

Healthy Hampshire launched a Food Access Updates email list for those who would like to find out about opportunities to access healthy food and provide feedback about their healthy food access needs. Individuals and families in need can sign up using this link, or you can email Caitlin Marquis if you would like to add any of your contacts to the list.

About Healthy Hampshire

Healthy Hampshire is a collaboration between local municipal leaders, elected officials, schools, public health departments, local businesses, parents and youth. It is part of the Mass in Motion statewide initiative through the Department of Public Health and is administered by the City of Northampton in partnership with Community Health Solutions, a program of the Collaborative for Educational Services.

The mission of Healthy Hampshire is to improve the health of all residents of Hampshire County by working with municipal and community leaders to effect changes to community policies and systems that will promote access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

Sarah Bankert, Healthy Hampshire Manager
(413) 586-4998, ex. 120
Copyright © 2014, City of Northampton, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Collaborative for Educational Services
97 Hawley St, Northampton, MA 01060

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