Each year the Move More Kids program gives back to the community in a big way by awarding community mini grants. These are usually no more than $2000, and are awarded for projects in Somerset County that are looking to either increase access to physical activity, or increase access to nutritious and healthy foods. Here are some examples of awarded community mini grants.
Jackman Farm to School
Joe Bergeron, better known as Farmer Joe, has led the 5210/MMK project at Forest Hills School for many years. He has worked to create a sustainable Farm to School project that includes nutrition education in their outdoor classroom, hands on learning from turning over soil and growing seeds to producing a beautiful harvest that supports the school nutrition program. This year alone the harvest produced over 600 lbs. of tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, squash potatoes, herbs and more! Farmer Joe has also assisted others in our county including Madison & Solon gardens.
Camp Modin Trail
Lake George Regional Park received a mini grant to create their mountain bike trail on Modin Trail. The trail is designed for mountain biking and is a loop track with an extension to other existing “rake and ride” trails. Difficulty level is Green/Easy to Blue/Intermediate. Novice and youth riders were kept in mind during trail design. While plans exist to extend the trail, it currently offers enough distance and features for riders to improve their skills and have some fun riding the loop. The trail is well marked with a trailhead sign adjacent to the parking lot across from the boat launch.
MHS/Madison School & Community Disc Golf Course
Madison High School received a mini grant to complete a ten hole disc golf course. Students assisted in clearing the area in preparation for the course. Staff and students built the disc golf baskets and assisted with installation. The disc golf course is used in physical education programming and can be used by the community as well. It is located behind Madison High School.
Skowhegan Outdoors received a MMK mini grant to purchase 10 sleeping bags and 10 sleeping pads, which were then available for overnight camping excursions taken by the Skowhegan Outing Club students Through the SOAP Community Gear Library, the sleeping systems were also made available for community members who wished to venture out a little further. Outing Club programming has included an exploration of local mountain bike paths and vernal pools at Coburn Woods, a cross-country skiing clinic, and a cross-country skiing clinic. The Outing Club will continue with meetings, excursions, and clinics this year under the leadership of teachers Kate Drummond and Kevin McFadden, with support from AmeriCorps members and other community members.
Main Street Ski Mini Grant
The Jim Browne Foundation, which is housed at Lakewood Golf Course, received a community grant to purchase and provide various youth size ski’s to use during the Winter months.
The town of Solon
The town of Solon received a mini grant based on the desire to give back to the community and to help people without the ability to have a garden plot. Solon donated land right behind the town office building to build 18 raised beds and supplied water access as well. Volunteer Deb Geary worked with students at Solon Elementary to start seedlings, families planted beds and tended their plots, and a team of volunteers filled in where necessary. The produce is currently being donated to the Solon food pantry. They expanded their garden project with the addition of a hoop house, and a few more raised beds so that more families can be involved in planting and harvesting. Deb is working on building in education around soil quality, greenhouse gardening, and composting.