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2015 MATCH Grant Recipients

MATCH grants support promising projects that help individuals, families and communities achieve better health with funding requests up to $100,000. The Wellmark Foundation offers grants to projects that either:

  1. Create a safe environment to be physically active in.
  2. Increases access to and consumption of healthy foods.

The Wellmark Foundation offers two MATCH grants: Small and Large. Get eligibility and application details for the Small and Large MATCH grants.

See the great work that has been accomplished with funding from the MATCH grant.

Mason City to Meservey Railroad Right of Way Trail Development — Phase 1

The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board is developing an abandoned railroad line from Mason City to Meservey into a walking and bicycling trail. The overall length of the trail is 21 miles and this grant is to develop the initial six miles.

Hospital Connector Trail Bridge

The Manning Regional Healthcare Center opened a new hospital, clinic and recovery center on the edge of Manning in May 2014 to replace a previous downtown facility. This created a very strong need for additional trails so patients, visitors and employees could have pedestrian access to health care. In addition to the pedestrian transportation benefits, the trail will be used by many for active lifestyle and recreational purposes as it ties into a popular existing trail built in 2014.

Osceola Safe Routes to School — Phase 2

The project is the second phase of a Safe Routes to School project. Phase 2 intends to construct multiple blocks of 6-foot wide sidewalks, including along a dangerous section of Highway 69 that has no sidewalks. This route will connect many children living in an income-based housing complex to the city's sidewalk network and the elementary school where Phase 1 sidewalks connected the central business district, middle/high school campus, sports fields, swimming pool and trails. The project includes educational, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation components. The City, Clarke County Development Corporation, Clark Community Schools, and a diverse community coalition is involved with and support this project.

Community Recreation Trail

The Davis County Trails Council is constructing the initial 0.3-mile segment of the county's first multi-use trail. This segment will link several popular destinations in Bloomfield, including the city park, ball fields, elementary and high schools, swimming pool, day care center, and community college satellite office. When complete, a 1.5-mile trail will provide a complete indoor and outdoor recreation and exercise experience, anchored by the Mutchler indoor recreation center on one end and Davis County's premier county park, McGowan Recreation Area, on the other end.

Access to Health for All: A Rural Community Wellness Program in Jeopardy

Fitness on Main has become a fabric of the Gregory County community. Its facilities provide the safest, most accessible venue for community members to engage in physical activities and classes, and challenges re-engage the community with educational tools for healthy, fit living. Grant funds will be used to relocate the community fitness center so it can remain open.

Healthy Food, Strong Community

The Food Environment Alliance, a collaboration of organizations who envision a strong community built on healthy food, seeks to increase access, visibility and learning opportunities for fresh food production, preparation and consumption among individuals living in Linn County, Iowa, who qualify for food assistance programs. Through a network of closely aligned programming, the Alliance will address gaps that create barriers to consuming at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day for vulnerable children and families

Community & School Garden Development & Enhancement

Funds from this grant will be used to provide improved water access for the community gardens and an instructional greenhouse for use within the Mason City Community School System. Project collaborating partners include Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, Mason City Community School District, City of Mason City, Cerro Gordo County Dept. of Public Health, and Blue Zones Project-Mason City.

Iowa Prison Production Garden Program

This project proposes to design, implement and track a production garden program in order to create a long-term, sustainable solution to the lack of fresh, healthy food in Iowa prisons. An educational training program developed in conjunction with the garden will provide offenders with vocational and life skills, thereby reducing recidivism through job placement.

Mahaska Community Recreation Trail Extension

The Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation's trail extension project proposes to build a new corridor to the existing 13-mile trail system. The 10-foot wide, concrete trail extension will link neighboring University Park. University Park will add a trailhead parking lot and a playground as a partner project.

Sibley Recreational Trail Project

The Osceola Recreational Trails Association Board seeks to provide a network of hard-surfaced recreational trails within the city limits of Sibley, Iowa, in response to the recreational and safety needs of Sibley's walkers, hikers and bikers.

Community Bicycle Trail Expansion

The funding will be used to develop a portion of bicycle trail from the hospital to the senior services campus in Sioux Center, Iowa. The new section of trail will connect with an existing 6.5-mile bicycle trail, further enhancing recreational opportunities for area residents. This project will expand safe and affordable exercise options, provide a community response to ongoing concerns about obesity and improve quality of life for many residents of the senior services campus, which is adjacent to the proposed trail expansion.

Helping the Hayward Neighborhood Live Well

Live Well Sioux Falls seeks to create a wellness pilot project that uses an elementary school, community center and school-based clinic setting that can help individuals and families achieve better health through access to healthy foods and active living. This project will provide evidence-based health programming, as well as enhanced nutrition and physical activity opportunities for children and families in the Hayward Elementary neighborhood.

Growing Great Gardens

The Growing Great Gardens project expands upon the garden and nutrition lessons learned at local community sites, including the Head Start center, five after-school sites, Oahe Inc. that serves developmentally disabled adults and the South Dakota Discovery Center. Using Wellmark Foundation funds, they will provide indoor garden systems and training, and create a summer garden internship program for high school students to increase youth agricultural skills and local garden education efforts.

Weights for Wellness

The Weights for Wellness project is a collaborative effort between Summit Area Economic Growth and the Summit Public School District. The project's focus is to construct a community-friendly wellness facility, which will provide a safe and accessible venue for youth in their day-to-day physical education curriculum, while allowing all community members use of the facility to help increase physical activity and overall wellness.

Iowa River Trail Marshalltown Terminus

The Iowa River Trail is a prospective 34-mile long scenic trail in development, embraced by two counties, seven cities and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. It links multiple scenic state and county parks, wildlife refuges and other amenities that afford close to 250,000 citizens easy access to miles of outdoor beauty. Because of the magnitude of this project, phased construction of the trail is planned. This request will help to fund completion of close to one-mile of paved trail within the most populated community along the trail: Marshalltown, Iowa.

United Way of Central Iowa — Let's Go! 5-2-1-0

United Way of Central Iowa proposes replication of a successful obesity prevention initiative called Let's go! 5-2-1-0 in four elementary schools in Des Moines' highest-need neighborhoods. Let's Go! reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play with a consistent message that promotes four healthy behaviors which can be easily remembered with the numbers 5-2-1-0, including five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks and more water and low-fat milk every day.

Variety Star Playground

The Variety Star Playground is an all-inclusive playground (a playground created to be accessible to children of all abilities) that will be located in Noelridge Park on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids. This playground, the first of its kind in Cedar Rapids, will cater to children with and without special needs.