By Iowa Healthiest State Initiative on Monday, September 13, 2021


Community Walk Mini Grant recipients announced

The Healthiest State Initiative and the Iowa Parks & Recreation Association (IPRA) partnered to provide mini grant opportunity for IAPRA members to receive funding to support the Healthiest State 11th Annual Walk and walkability efforts in their community.

To be eligible, applicants were asked to demonstrate how they would use the funds to promote walking, as well as social connectedness, within their community. 

Winners were recognized at the IPRA Fall Workshop in October 2021. Each community received a $500 mini grant. Congratulations:

  • Ely
  • Monticello
  • Pleasant Hill

Ely will use their mini grant funds to create a permanent, painted 170-foot obstacle course on a walking path in their City Park. They will also paint permanent hopscotch and other games/activities on the sidewalks leading to the playground. 

Ely Walk Path

"We believe that both of these projects would promote people of all ages to get outside, head to the parks and be active with friends," said Callie Stulz-O'Brien, recreation coordinator.

  • Check out the City of Ely's Healthiest State Annual Walk on October 6 here.

Monticello will use their mini grant funds to purchase posts needed to create a more permanent Story Walk. The Parks & Recreation department partnered with Monticello Public Library to install a Story Walk in 2020.

Monticello Story Walk 

"It was a very popular attraction along our Willow Trail. Unfortunately, vandals struck multiple times, and the walk was removed," said Jacob Oswald, parks & recreation director. The new Story Walk will be more vandal-proof.

  • Check out the City of Monticello's Healthiest State Annual Walk on October 6 here.

Pleasant Hill will use their mini grant funds to install a portable, "green-lit" Story Walk. A nature-based children's book will be chosen and the story pages will be accompanied by environmental facts and activity prompts.

Pleasant hill story walk

"Through the use of storybook imagery, the goal is to engage communities in physical activity, literacy, and environmental education all at the same time. It is an innovative way to get people of all ages out walking, reading and connecting in a natural setting," said Ryan Merritt, parks and recreation manager. 

Apply for the 2022 IPRA Community Walk Mini Grant today!

logoThe Healthiest State 12th Annual Walk is an opportunity for your household, school, workplace, community or organization to join thousands of other Iowans statewide in walking for 30 minutes on October 5.  Register a walk here