In 2014, through a collaboration between the Stark County Health Department (SCHD), Stark County Park District, JRC and Live Well Stark County, SCHD received a 5-year grant [2015-2019] through the Ohio Department of Health's Creating Healthy Communities Program (CHC).

Focusing in NE Canton, SE Canton, and Massillon City, the CHC work plans are designed to implement Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change strategies in the areas of healthy eating, active living, and tobacco-free lifestyles. The vision of Creating Healthy Communities is Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice!
To better understand our CHC work plans and priority communities, please see the info-graphic below.

To learn more about CHC, visit the program page here.
To view 2016 Success Stories, visit here.

Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) is committed to preventing and reducing chronic disease statewide. Through cross-sector collaboration, we are activating communities to improve access to and affordability of healthy food, increase opportunities for physical activity, and assure tobacco-free living where Ohioans live, work and play. By implementing sustainable evidence-based strategies, CHC is creating a culture of health.
— CHC Mission Statement

Created & provided  by the Creating Healthy Communities program via Ohio Department of Health. 2015. 


Continue to check back for updates and progress on our planned projects for 2018. A rough outline of projects for the upcoming year can be seen below: 

Active Living | 2018
Plans for active living in 2018 include implementing a Share the Road campaign and providing on road ride training in NE Canton, assisting with the creation of on road bike lanes and/or bike sharrows in SE Canton, and the commitment of one child care center in Massillon to participate in the Ohio Healthy Program. 

Healthy Eating | 2018
Healthy eating planned work for 2018 will be headed by StarkFresh and focus on increasing access to healthy food options by establishing one farm to institution in all three priority communities: Massillon, NE Canton and SE Canton. 

Tobacco Free | 2018
In 2018, we have planned to assist with the implementation and enforcement of a Tobacco 21 policy in the City of Canton. Tobacco 21 is an initiative that focuses on raising the minimum tobacco sales age to 21 as a means to reduce tobacco use and smoking rates overall. The City of Canton is interested in implementing the policy in 2018, with the help of Live Well Stark County and other local agencies. 



Active Living
Massillon began working on implementing a Share the Road campaign in 2016. Share the road is an advocacy and education based active transportation movement that started in the city of Columbus and has since spread to Stark County! Sharing the road emphasizes the importance of all road-users and that roadways are meant to be traveled by all vehicles. In Northeast Canton, CHC and Stark Parks invested in the revitalization of Cook's Lagoon Park, located in the 1800 block of Mahoning Road. Changes to the park included installing an upcycled tractor trailer bed bridge in the front of the park, staining of the metal bridge in the back of the park, installing a new kiosk, and building a handicap accessible fishing ramp. In Southeast Canton, walking routes called Stark Walks, were created as part of a crime prevention through environmental design strategy. These routes are a series of loops between a half mile, to a mile that lead to various community resources such as; schools, libraries, and parks. 

Healthy Eating
Four community gardens were created in 2015, and Massillon Community Garden Coalition added one garden in 2016, the Ability Garden. Two shared use agreements, between StarkFresh, the Massillon Community Garden Coalition, and the Sherrick Road Church of God enabled the gardens to plant their seeds early in the season, and jump start the growing process. StarkFresh's hoop houses served as a warm green house that allowed seeds to thrive well before Ohio's temperatures allowed. Additionally, the StarkFresh hoop houses have served as a site for one farm-to-institution project as they grew food for the StarkFresh mobile farmers' market, as well as the Corridor farmers' market. 

Tobacco Free
One of the greatest successes of a tobacco-free public space in 2016 was the creation of the tobacco-free ordinance in Duncan Plaza. Massillon's community events at Duncan Plaza are now able to be enjoyed without the presence of tobacco! Additional tobacco-free spaces and policies that were implemented include: the Massillon farmers' market, an outdoor learning space at Lighthouse Ministries, and StarkFresh farmers' market. 

Community Gardens Grant | 2013 - 2015
In 2012, a collaborative effort to address childhood obesity was initiated by Live Well Stark County and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton. Live Well developed an annual application for Stark County community members & agencies interested in starting or furthering a community garden with a special focus on childhood access to healthy food. 

Sisters of Charity funds were administered to 11 sites from 2013 to 2015. In that term, more than 1,000 pounds of vegetables were grown and reported using diverse food production techniques.

Please click through the images below to see our past community gardens. 


A special thank you to the following community garden partners:
Lighthouse Ministries, JRC, North Webb Community Garden, Beech Creek Botanical Garden, Sherrick Road Church of God, The O'Jays Neighborhood Association, Multi-County Juvenile Attention System, Canton Calvary Mission, J. Babe Stearn Community Center, Canton City School District, and Vassar Park Neighborhood Association.

ACHIEVE Grant | 2008 - 2010