2017 grants awarded

In 2017, grants were awarded to 68 organizations in Minnesota and western Wisconsin to support activities that promote social connections and increased in healthy behavior. Grants ranged from $750 to $10,000. The 2017 Neighborhood Health Connection activities were:



Activity Summary


Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

Church members will meet once per week for a forty-five minute yoga class. Each participant will receive a yoga mat and water bottle.

Belle Plaine

The Lutheran Home: Boessling Village Apartments

Residents of a low income senior housing will meet monthly to improve social connections and increase physical activity by playing games together using Nintendo Wii.


Bison Fishing Forever

Senior citizens who attend daily activities and lunch program through Buffalo Senior Center will have the opportunity to strengthen social connections and improve health with Tuesday evening fishing outings.


Buffalo Community Center – Tai Chi workshop

Senior citizens will be taught the Yang 10 form of Tai Chi. Participants will also explore topics related to health while eating a healthy snack.


Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools Early Childhood Education

Parents who are single or low income, English as Second Language learners, or living with mental health issues will come together to plan, prepare, plant and maintain a community garden. They will harvest the vegetables and prepare nutritious food with their produce. Activities also include walks while gardening.


Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools Community Education

Senior citizens and disabled adults will come together to participate in a variety of activities from movement, healthy cooking, and walking. Activities will take place both indoors and outside.


Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools

Thirty adults will participate in the Tai Chi 24 Form series of classes to improve health and well being.


Park View Care Center

Residents and staff will participate together in a short yoga session to improve mood, balance, and create a fun interaction time together.


Anoka Ramsey Community College

Students will share lunch in the Parent Café to discuss healthy ways to manage stress, wellness, parenting responsibilities and child development.


City of Cambridge

Free yoga sessions will be held for Cambridge residents in Central Green Park


City of Cambridge and Isanti County Pickleball Club

Pickleball lessons and equipment will be provided adults at the pickleball courts in Cambridge Central Greens park.


East Central Regional Library

Adult patrons of this public library will be provided with pedometers and participate in a "Walk and Talk" book club. Participants will receive a book with healthy recipes and learn how to prepare healthy snacks.


Isanti County Commission on Aging

Two groups of participants: One group of senior citizens will walk in the mall or outside twice a week and eat a healthy snack. The other group will exercise twice a week at the Center.


Isanti County Wellness

County employees will have the opportunity to engage in physical activities at local parks (disk golf, pickleball, or bean bag toss tournaments). Each event will also have healthy snacks available to participants. Additionally, County employees will engage in a series of healthy cooking classes.


New Pathways, Inc.

Employees from a shelter program (for families with children experiencing homelessness) will participate in group exercise activities and health-related education at Anytime Fitness in Cambridge MN.


Launch Ministry

Young adults experiencing homelessness will engage in weekly fitness activities that will allow them to earn points toward earning incentives such as work out gear or attire.

Chisago City

Ecumen Parmly Lifepoints

Residents of Parmly senior living center will start a gardening group and will work together to design, plan, plant, and harvest the garden.

Coon Rapids

Emma B. Howe YMCA

Participants will be working in a group setting with personal trainers, utilizing equipment and exercises designed to improve strength, range of motion, dexterity, mobility, balance and cognitive function.

Coon Rapids

Loaves and Fishes

Adults and seniors in the Coon Rapids community will regularly volunteer at our vegetable garden at Peace Lutheran Garden in Coon Rapids, where we grow produce for our free meal program. Under the supervision of our lead farmer, participants will plant, harvest, and/or tend the garden every other week.

Columbia Heights


Low-income, senior residents of Aeon’s Parkview Villa in Columbia Heights will participate in Full Circle health eating program. Residents will plant, maintain, and harvest a vegetable garden. They will learn to about nutrition and healthy eating as they learn to cook their harvest.


A to Z Mental Health Scholarship Foundation C/O Dassel Cokato Community Education

Community members will participate in a six-week challenge to promote better mental, emotional and physical health. At the end of the six weeks, members will participate in a 5k walk/run event.

Dodge Center

The Center Clinic

Spanish speaking immigrants will learn healthy habits including exercise, nutrition, and mental resiliency in weekly group activities in a community center.


Faribault Adult Education – Faribault Public Schools

Adult learners will participate in a six session course that covers healthalicious cooking and walking for fitness.


Faribault Deaf Club

Members of the Deaf Community will learn about healthy eating and cooking by engaging in a series of webinars and videos using American Sign Language and subtitles to facilitate communication.


Ruth's House of Hope, Inc.

Residents of Ruth’s House Transitional Shelter will participate in healthy cooking classes, swimming, mindfulness sessions, and programming at River Bend Nature Center.


Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health & Well-Being/Bridgeview

Bridgeview members, all adults living with serious and persistent mental illness, will engage in social, learning, and physical activities intended to help them lead healthier and more balanced lives.


BRIDGE for Community Life, Inc.

Young adults with a cognitive disabilities will plant and maintain gardens in their local communities. They will harvest vegetables, make healthy meals and explore physical activities.


United Way St. Croix Valley

Aspiring gardeners will learn gardening skills and healthy recipes while the group creates and maintains a community garden. The group will also work together to create garden boxes that will be made available to local families and seniors who utilize food pantries.


Cambridge Isanti Early Childhood Programs

Employees of Early Childhood Program will learn about how to shop for, prepare healthy snacks and freezer meals. They will also be exercising together for six weeks with the help of wellness coaches.


Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church

Parents of preschoolers and school aged children will gather to learn about nutrition as they prepare crockpot and freezer meals.

Lino Lakes

YMCA in Lino Lakes

The Lino Lakes YMCA will help our community get healthier by expanding opportunities for ALL to experience Group Exercise classes. Classes will create community, provide expert instruction, and offer weekly challenges that encourage exercise and healthy eating between sessions.


Nawayee Center School

Members of Nawayee Center School Community will establish an Indigenous Rock Climbing Club that meets at Vertical Endeavors, Minneapolis as a way to build better health.


Minneapolis Public Schools, Community Education

Parents and young people from Green Central Community School will attend 6 or more workshops to learn about nutrition, how to cook healthy and affordable meals. Each session will include discussion of health related topics.


St Mary’s Health Clinics

Latino women living in the East Phillips/Holy Rosary church neighborhood will be invited to participate in the program "Amigas Saludables" that will offer weekly Zumba classes, nutrition/cooking classes, gardening classes and the opportunity to share a garden plot.


The Link

The Lindquist Apartments Wellness group will provide youth ages 18-24 with a weekly opportunity to learn yoga as a means of promoting personal health and being mindful.


Grace Place Collaborative

Providing healthy eating and nutritious cooking classes for low-income adults and families. The main method of cooking will be using a crock pot. Participants will be given a crock pot and a recipe booklet.

New Ulm

Adaptive Recreational Services

Participants will continue their bowling league for physical activity. They will also attend cooking classes to learn how to prepare healthy snacks and meals.

New Ulm

Community And Seniors Together

Residents of New Ulm, as well as Brown County, will be invited to participate in a free weekly chair exercise class at the Senior Center.

New Ulm

Highland Homes Incorporated and Sunset Apartments

Senior citizens and disabled residents of Sunset Apartments will receive pedometers, participate in weekly exercise classes and share six healthy lunches.

New Ulm

New Ulm Park and Recreation

Multigenerational participants will be able to participate in free yoga at eight different city parks in New Ulm, MN. To encourage multiple participants, individuals who attend multiple classes will be eligible to receive yoga exercise equipment.

New Ulm

Pro Kinship for Kids

Residents of New Ulm, Minnesota will learn about healthy eating through food science days and cooking classes. Participating families will also be physically active via participation in various events and outings around the community such planting container veggie gardens to jumping rope or playing ball games.

North Branch

Chisago County Master Gardeners

The Williams Park Community Garden will be made ADA accessible for members of the community who experience limited mobility or other disabilities. Participants will be able to enjoy gardening, socialization, and physical activity. They will also learn about nutritious food and how to preserve their harvest.

North Branch

Family Pathways

Older adults (60 and older) will begin a "Journey to Wellness" by participating in light exercises, learning how to eat healthy on a budget, try

North Branch

Refuge Network, a program of Family Pathways

Residents of a domestic violence shelter will participate in healthy cooking educational classes. Participants will grow, prepare and cook some of the food during class sessions; they will also have a field trip to better understand food value, pricing, etc.


Northfield Women’s Center

Single mothers or mothers living in low income apartment complex will come together to learn about a different health topic each month for a period of six months. Topics include: personal defense and safety, healthy eating, mindfulness, and life coaching.

Oak Grove

St. Francis Community Garden

The Community Garden is open to residents of St. Francis and surrounding communities. Participants will plant, harvest, and tend their garden.


Free clinic of Steele County

The Free Clinic Community Garden is available to those who utilize the Free Clinic, largely Latino families who are low income. Families will be able to grow their own organic produce and herbs to improve diet and health.


Enrollees of Big Brother Big Sisters will participate in "Cooking Matters" program. Participants will learn life skills of nutrition, food preparation, food budgeting and shopping.

River Falls

City of River Falls

Local adults can attend weekly sessions of "Yoga in the Park" which will be led by a trained instructor.

River Falls

City of River Falls Parks and Recreation Department

Local adults can join a biking group that will come together to increase physical activity, build social connections, explore River Falls and surrounding area by monthly group bike rides.

River Falls

Community Education

Dynamite Date night is open to couples in the River Falls Area. Participants will come together to engage in "casually competitive" activities designed to promote physical, mental and social well-being. Planned activities include: line dancing, kayaking, Hike and Music in the Park, healthy grilling, healthy desserts, and healthy appetizers.

River Falls

HOPE Lutheran

Adults with special needs are invited to participate in health and wellness activities. These activities include movement, music, creative crafts, and healthy snacks.

River Falls

River Falls Montessori

Staff and parents will engage in yoga classes with healthy snack, social supports, and prizes from local businesses.

River Falls

Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

This wellness and empowerment series will be for victims and survivors of interpersonal violence. This year a men’s group and a second women’s group will be added to program. Participants are offered sessions that include Healthy Eating on a Budget, Equine Coaching, Walk to Empower, and Laughter Yoga.

Saint Louis Park

Susan Lindgren Elementary School (PTSO)

Parents, guardians and staff of Susan Lindgren Elementary School will be able to take a weekly yoga class for 13 weeks.

Saint Paul

Guild Incorporated

Clients of Guild Incorporated will participate in "Cooking Matters" program that will help clients learn about healthy eating, food preparation, meal planning and grocery shopping.

Saint Paul

Merrick Community Services

Members of Merrick Senior Group and Gustavus Adolphus Senior Group are joining to form East Side Senior Group. East Side Senior Group is focused on physical and social well-being. Participants will engage in low-impact exercise and nutritional programs.

Saint Paul

President’s Council of PHA High-rises of St. Paul

Public housing residents will come together for a monthly "all-abilities" community walk with a guest health and wellness practitioner.


New Options

Adults with developmental disabilities enrolled in a Day Training and Habilitation program will engage in activities to improve health and wellness through practicing healthy eating, exercise and stress management.


One Yoga

Women incarcerated in MCF-Shakopee will be provided with weekly yoga and mindfulness classes as a means for supporting mental and physical health.


Scott County Human Services

Scott County Anchor Center serves adults who live with chronic mental illness. The 2017 Health Challenge will engage participants of Anchor Center in "casually competitive" activities that promote physical, mental and social well-being.


Scott County Public Health

Nutrition Educators and chefs will work with community members in a teaching kitchen to demonstrate healthy food preparation. The kitchen will be located at a community site with a variety of partners. NHC funds will supplement Scott County’s Statewide Health Improvement Program activities by purchasing participant incentives and healthy, culturally appropriate foods from local vendors to be used during classes.


Scott Carver Dakota CAP Agency

Circle of Parents, made up of low income, immigrant, or single parent households, will participate in series of activities to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and social connections. Scheduled activities include yoga, gardening, and healthy cooking demonstrations.


South West Metro Intermediate District 288

Participants in the advanced English Language class will plan and organize a Walking Club to increase physical activity. They will also conduct research comparing the nutritional value of common snacks and learn to make their won.

Sleepy Eye

VOA – Countryside Retirement Community

Sleepy Eye Community Health Walks will be held 6 times during grant period. We will target all members of our campus and community, young and old to join us in getting healthier by walking designated paths at each walk. We will also start an indoor walking program for our seniors living at Countryside.

Sleepy Eye

VOA – Adult Day Services

Residents of Countryside Retirement Community and Ross Park Apartments will come together to learn about how to eat and cook healthy on a budget.

St. Paul

University of Minnesota

Elder Hmong farmers and second generation Hmong will connect over preparation of healthy, traditional Hmong farm dinners.

South St. Paul

City of South St. Paul

Residents of two senior high-rises will team up with City of South St. Paul to build community, improve social connections, and health by engaging in two programs: Fun and Fitness and Project Fresh Food.


The Village in Waterville

Members will come together to plan, plant, and maintain their gardens in a community garden. They will also participate in culinary boot camp.