5 Healthy Towns Foundation approves $75,000 for Grass Lake Wellness Plan


November 29, 2017 – 5 Healthy Towns Foundations (5HF)’ Board of Directors approved $75,000 for Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative (GLCWI)’s sixth Comprehensive Wellness Plan on Tuesday, November 28th.   Grass Lake’s proposal includes 12 different projects that will impact Grass Lake’s ability to choose to Eat Better, Move More, Connect with Others in Healthy Ways and Avoid Unhealthy Substances.

The Wellness Plan includes renewals of seven interventions funded in past years and five programs that are new to GLCWI’s portfolio.  The largest intervention approval is $33,750 to assist Grass Lake’s efforts to finish phase two of the new Grass Lake Events Pavilion at Community Events Park.  $10,000 was awarded to Grass Lake Senior Center (GLSC) to help GLSC increase their programming and hours of operation and $9,000 for the Grass Lake Farmers Market Manager.

The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative Coalition is beyond thrilled to hear about the approval of our Year 6 Wellness Plan by the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation,” said Dawn Cuddie, GLCWI Chairwoman.  “This financial investment in our community ensures the vision of our volunteers to make Grass Lake a’ great place to call home’ and a ‘healthy place to call home’ will continue.”

Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative typically meets the third Monday of the Month (no meetings in November and December) at 6 p.m. in Grass Lake Charter Township Hall.  The coalition meets to review ongoing programs, examine health data relevant to the community and determine how best to meet the needs identified by the coalition.  Anyone is welcome to attend.

 List of Approved Programs

GRASS LAKE ROAD RUNNERS RACE SERIES  – Three road races scheduled between July and October will expand the community schedule of family-friendly events in Grass Lake promoting walking and running. The series includes the Traffic Jam’n 5K, the Relay for Life 5K and the Haunted Hustle.

Funds Requested: $ 1,500

BIKE RACKS– The Village of Grass Lake proposes the installation of five bike racks. Four will be installed at Grass Lake Community Events Park and the 5th will be placed at another visible location (Village Office or downtown). This infrastructure project promotes biking as a great way to move more.

Funds Requested: $ 2500

FRESH AIR FESTIVAL – As an expansion of Yoga by the Lake, 5HF will provide oversight for the Fresh Air Festival, to feature three months of outdoor summer events, including kayaking demonstrations and paddle boarding.
Funds Requested: $ 3,000

HEALTHY GRASS LAKE RESTAURANTS – The Coalition will develop relationships with three Grass Lake restaurants to provide assistance on ways to promote healthy menu items.  Collaboration with St. Joseph Mercy-Chelsea Department of Community Health Improvement will focus on the development of new materials highlighting healthy eating, including fact sheets, table tents, menu planning and flyers.

Funds Requested: $2,000

GEORGE LONG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GREENHOUSE – Grass Lake Community Schools will construct a 11×10 foot greenhouse on the west side of the building (in a former playground site). The greenhouse will be built as part of a larger project to repurpose a school bus to use for youth programming. The additional space will add on the greenhouse and also house a mini amphitheater and butterfly garden. Programming will focus on hands-on learning activities for Eat Better initiatives for families and youth Pre-K through 5th grade.

Funds Requested: $6,000

HEALTHY EATING CLASSES – Two community events for healthy eating sponsored by the Grass Lake Branch of Jackson District Library will be offered, providing local adult residents with recipes, cooking tips, shopping recommendations, samples, and a Q&A session with a local chef. Seasonal produce will be featured.

Funds Requested: $1,000

FOOD FOR FRIENDS – In collaboration with Grass Lake United Methodist Church (GLUMC), Food for Friends continues as a needed outreach service for older adults in the community. Promotion to highlight the monthly Lunch & Learn presentations at GLUMC will provide older adults an opportunity to connect and engage in a healthy way.

Funds Requested: $1,500

FARMERS MARKET MANAGER – In our efforts to maintain the positive growth and momentum of the Grass Lake Farmers Market, funds will be used to offset annual expenses for the 2017 and 2018 operations. Our goal is to increase the number of participants, vendors and overall visibility of the market.

Funds Requested: $9,000

GRASS LAKE PAVILION – PHASE 2 – Grass Lake Farmers Market will lead development of Phase 2 of the community pavilion in 2018. In partnership with the Village of Grass Lake, rough construction has been completed. New funds will be used for electrical work, brick pillars and completion of the ceiling construction, and detail completion of the pavilion.

Funds Requested: $ 33,750

GRASS LAKE SENIOR CENTER – Grass Lake Senior Center (GLSC) provides area residents age 50+ with many opportunities to interact with each other during activities both on and offsite. This year, GLSC adds more hours of diverse programming to address the needs of Grass Lake’s senior population, including social support activities for mental health and emotional needs.

Funds Requested: $ 10,000

EVENT SPONSORSHIPS – This allocation will support miscellaneous marketing and promotion activities to increase coalition and wellness event visibility in the community. Events include the Small Business Expo, Grass Lake Summer Youth Sports Golf Outing, Winter Jam’in and Festival of Tables.

Funds Requested: $ 3,750


PROJECT SAFE GRADUATION – Congratulations to the Class of 2018! This annual celebration brings a safe and healthy celebration to students at Grass Lake High School while increasing awareness about good decision making and driving safety.
Funds Requested: $ 1,000


The 5 Healthy Towns Foundation is a tax-exempt private foundation governed by a volunteer board of directors.  The foundation serves the populations included in the school districts of Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge.  5HF will grant funds for projects dedicated to creating a culture of wellness and sustainable improvements in health.