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Making it Better: Minnesota's Health Improvement Log

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Dec. 19, 2019

SHIP Schools to meet in January


Register for the meeting!

SHIP Schools will host a meeting in Fergus Falls on Jan. 17, 2020. The agenda will include training on Active Schools Minnesota, the School Health Index and more.

For further questions and to register, email Jeremy Vann at

More information on additional SHIP Schools meetings will be announced soon.

Friday, Jan. 17
8:30 a.m. – Noon (The first half-hour will be sign-in and welcome time.)
Lakes Country Service Cooperative
1001 E Mt Faith Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Happy holidays!

No newsletter next week, Dec. 26

With the upcoming holiday, there will be no Making it Better newsletter on Dec. 26. Look for the following newsletter in the New Year on Jan. 2, 2020.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Funding from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Recreation program grants available

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for its latest round of funding. There grants available for Park, Natural Areas and Trail Programs, Grants-in-Aid Programs, Water Recreation Programs and more.

Learn more at the DNR Recreation Grant webpage.

Demonstration Project guide

Get a free, downloadable guide!

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has released a new Demonstration Project Guide for local communities to use to improve walkability. Demonstration projects are low-cost, temporary roadway projects used to pilot potential long-term design to better walking/bicycling and public spaces. Demonstration projects allow public agencies, community partners, and people walking, bicycling, taking transit and driving to evaluate potential infrastructure improvements before investing in permanent changes.

Download the guide from the MnDOT webpage.



Webinar: MN 2020 Data Collection Kick-Off

Date: Jan. 8
Time: 1:30 p.m.

SHIP data collection involving store assessments/audits will resume in 2020! This webinar will discuss the timeline of events, outline key steps, due dates, review the Store Audit Center and address questions.

For questions, email Jackie Boards, the Minnesota Project Director at Counter Tools.

Register for the webinar on the Counter Tools zoom page.

This week’s Gem

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Self Esteem brands create a bike-friendly culture

For Self Esteem Brands — the parent company of Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City, Basecamp Fitness and Bar Method — supporting employee wellness is essential to the organization’s culture. Recognizing that some employees were less engaged in traditional physical activity, Self Esteem Brands set out to create a bike-friendly work site with funding from Living Healthy Washington County.

Self Esteem Brands purchased three bicycles for its Woodbury campus. They made them available for employees to use during the day. Additional equipment was purchased, including a bike fix-it starter kit, air pumps and helmets. Self Esteem Brands kicked off the initiative during National Bike to Work Week to generate excitement about the new equipment.

The project has been a success, with an average of one bike checked out each day. Employees have also established a bicycle club that meets weekly for group rides. The bikes increase employee access to physical activity throughout the day, which is linked to decreased stress and improved productivity.

A regular user of the bikes shared, “I love having bikes available to check out. There is no better way to break up the day and clear your head than getting out for a quick lunchtime ride through nature.” Another employee said, “I love having the bikes available because it’s a great way to get in some exercise and get outside for a bit.... It’s a great way to de-stress and re-energize in the middle of the workday.”