May 27, 2015 – Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI) partnered with Bi-State Regional Commission (BSRC) on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Grant to expand upon the work under the Be Healthy QC initiative.  The PICH Grant focuses on improving nutrition options and increasing physical wellness opportunities for people, especially children, in the Quad Cities.

Developing Safe Route to Schools

BSRC is coordinating the development of the PICH Grant related to physical activity and has hired a planner to focus on designing and implementing Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) programs with interested elementary schools in both Iowa and Illinois.  The planner will offer technical assistance to schools to ensure physical activity practices meet CDC or national standards by developing SRTS travel guidelines that include identification of issues and mitigating solutions for walking and biking near schools in the Rock Island County and Scott County school districts.  This objective will facilitate greater access to physical activity by involving the schools, parents, and community to ensure connectivity to the schools for adjoining neighborhoods, promoting physical activity through school commuting.

Creating a Web-based Interactive Trails Map

BSRC will also collaborate with community partners and stakeholders to develop a web-based, interactive, trails map that shows connectivity among trails, parks, and public resources to increase opportunities for physical activity for the public.  This will create opportunities for physical activity in public settings by providing current information on trail and park conditions through an interactive map on a website and mobile devices, such as tablets and smart phones.

For the nutrition aspect of the PICH Grant, the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education has hired a School Wellness Coordinator to increase access to healthy foods in schools, and Broadway Presbyterian Church will work to increase the City of Rock Island residents’ access to healthy foods by establishing four new community gardens.  The PICH grant is a three-year grant, the first year of which has been awarded, and application for Year 2 is occurring now.