Grant Awarded

We’ve Been Awarded!

BY: LEE-LEE ERNSTES, MEDIA RELATIONS
Changes are on the horizon in Jennings County.

Recently, several folks from organizations across Jennings County started to discuss a community-wide bike and pedestrian path plan that will enable connectivity to key destinations within the county.   An application was then pulled together and filed for the 2022 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Program with the State of Indiana. The vision for the bicycle pedestrian friendly community was stated in the application as follows,

 “A bicycle and pedestrian-friendly Jennings County would promote health by ensuring that all individuals can travel safely on foot or wheel to key destinations including workplaces, schools, businesses, healthcare, and parks. Our community intends to build this environment in a fiscally responsible way and seeks to create a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan to encourage community input and coordinate local government in the effort.  A Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan will contribute to this vision by including the desires and concerns of Jennings County residents, coordinating plans across government jurisdictions, and clarifying which improvements to budget for and seek outside funding opportunities.”

Earlier this week, Jeff Walker, MPH, RDN & Community Wellness Coordinator at Purdue Extention was notified by the Indiana Department of Health that they were in fact chosen to receive the approval of the grant.  The following was the award letter received by email:

Jennings County Award Letter1024_1


With the news of the recent award letter, Jeff Walker stated, “Jennings County should be proud to get this grant from IDOH!  Lots of local leaders supported this and IDOH liked that we’re building on the good work our communities have done already.  A bike and pedestrian plan will kick start a future in Jennings County where it’s easier for us to commute, run errands, go to school, and explore the community in an active way!  But it’s not going to be a top-down process, public meetings and surveys will happen, and we need every Jennings County citizen’s input to create a plan that fits our needs and goals!”

Mayor Mike Ochs added, “I would just like to say how excited I am and pleased that Jeff Walker was able to help secure this grant.  Our community is growing and moving forward.  Thank you, Jeff, for your hard work.  Times are changing, things are looking better.”

The following groups have committed to participate in the Project Advisory Committee:

  • Jennings County Commissioners
  • North Vernon City Council
  • Jennings County Parks & Recreation
  • North Vernon Parks & Recreation
  • Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program
  • Jennings County School Corporation

This project is vital to provide access to grocery stores, parks, work, and other places of necessity.  It is also an excellent opportunity to add more walking, running, and biking opportunities around the community, potentially connecting us to other parks and businesses that won’t involve using the main roads.   We ask you to help spread this exciting news with your friends and family.  We will publish the public meeting dates, times, and locations once known.  It’s your voice that helps make a difference in our community, and now is the time to use that voice as this project continues to move forward.  You define our tomorrow!