Granville and Vance are adjacent counties located in the Northern Piedmont region of North Carolina. Both counties benefit from the leadership of the Granville-Vance District Health Department and both have reported declining childhood obesity rates. The health department contributes to a number of projects to help make it easier for families and children to make healthy choices and while most of them are small-scale efforts, collectively they’ve made a difference.
- In 2004, the health department started an employee wellness program to encourage healthy eating and physical activity. The department actively promoted its program to other local worksites and in 2012, began working with faith groups and other partners to use a similar model.
- In 2007, the health department partnered with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services on a social marketing campaign in Vance to help promote physical activity among kids ages 8 to 12. In 2008, the department launched the PLAY Mobile program in Vance, providing a mobile playground to five elementary schools that had no dedicated indoor space for physical education.
- The health department has implemented dozens of activities as part of its mini-grant projects with Eat Smart, Move More NC in 2008–2009 and 2009–2010. It helped Northern Granville Middle School implement a program that encourages students to engage in vigorous activity during gym classes. It also worked with the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to create a policy that requires concessions stands to offer healthy snacks and drinks. Other grants targeted churches, hospitals, and worksites.
- Granville County adopted a master greenway plan in 2006 and installed the first trail in 2008. Granville planners have leveraged about $7.5 million in funds since the master plan was written and nearly 8 miles of trail are planned, under construction, or completed.