Grass Lake Michigan: A Healthy Place to Call Home
Michiganders take pride in many things including our great lakes, our produce and our communities. Over the past year, one community stands out for their dedication to providing its residents with opportunities to live healthier lifestyles.
The Michigan Fitness Foundation honors outstanding communities and businesses in the state for these accomplishments toward providing wellness opportunities. Earlier this year with the help of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Grass Lake Charter Township and the Village of Grass Lake were awarded the 2017 Active Community Award for their commitment to active living.
Grass Lake, Mich. has been continuously working toward personal community goals since 2011. The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative (GLCWI) has developed Comprehensive Wellness Plans that support sponsored interventions addressing nutrition, physical activity, social connectivity and substance abuse. These wellness plans are supported through financial and staffing support from the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation. The other four Michigan communities the foundation supports are Dexter, Chelsea, Stockbridge and Manchester.
When GLCWI was founded, their largest focus was to intervene when local students began falling ill from substance and opioid abuse. Over time, these efforts lead to incorporating healthy cooking classes, a farmer’s market complete with a new pavilion and free summer yoga classes. The organization focuses on connecting people in healthy ways through community involvement and local wellness resources. The coalition is even in the process of creating an app to help promote all events in the area.
“The possibilities are endless as more and more people find out what we are doing,” said Doug Moeckel, chairman of the GLCWI. Both the foundation and the GLCWI were honored to receive the award with Moeckel. “It’s affirmation to what our volunteers have been doing here in Grass Lake.”
How has Grass Lake stayed active this summer?
Grass Lake plans to continue existing programs, and implement new interventions in the upcoming years. Each wellness plan has been developed with the idea that wellness education and infrastructure, along with personal commitment and the desire to incorporate healthier habits, helps create a culture of wellness.
Here are some of the interventions that the coalition has supported this year:
- Yoga by the Lake: Grass Lake offers a yoga class for anyone who wants to work on their stretching. The classes have been a community favorite, and have seen growth in the attendees since the program started. Supported by the Chelsea Wellness Center, the classes are offered free every as special pop-up sessions.
- Grass Lake Senior Center: The coalition partnered with the Chelsea Senior Center to help provide healthy and social programs for seniors such as games and sports, exercise classes and even computer/tech support.
- Healthy Eating Classes: Chef Brad West teaches community members once a month about healthy eating habits with unique and simple recipes. View the list of 2017-2018 programs here.
- Sports, Trails and Parks: Next to a lakeside setting, the community is constructing a multi-use sand volleyball pit that will interchangeably become an ice skating rink in the winter. Since GLCWI began, Grass Lake has invested more than $1 million grants, local donations and sports fees into its open spaces.
- Grass Lake Farmers Market Pavilion: Through the foundation’s evaluation of community efforts, Grass Lake was able to receive funding to vamp up its farmers market. On July 15th, Grass Lake had a grand opening for the space featuring a brand new pavilion to accommodate the market and other events that will take place in town.
- Project Safe Graduation: Grass Lake has provided safe and healthy graduation celebrations to help send off high school seniors and increase their awareness about making responsible decisions as young adults.
- Farm to Table Fabulous Feast: At the end of August, Grass Lake will be hosting the Foundation’s second annual community nutritional feast held at the Farmers Market. The proceeds from the event go to assist all of the Farmers Markets supported by 5HF.
What do you love most about the Grass Lake community? Let us know some of the ways you stay healthy and active by leaving a comment below.