Try This received 79 mini-grant applications and awarded 55 projects totaling $105,600 this year. The projects are diverse and widespread, ranging from a hydroponic system in an Ohio County neighborhood center that will provide fresh produce for its on-site food pantry and hot-meal programs to the start-up of a fishing club and biking club in Boone County which will partner local youth with Police Department mentors.

In Calhoun County, a countywide community team is being formed to organize healthy eating and physical activity programs. In eastern Kanawha County, a team will host a series of community conversations and weekly “chat n chews” around healthy living.

TRY THIS WV is a movement and a mini-grant program to knock WV off the worst health lists, community by community and county by county. This initiative is made up of community and county leaders, doctors, nurses, health advocates, WVU Extension, school, local teams, and many others. So far, 99 local multi-sector teams have completed extensive leadership development and been funded for a real project such as community gardens, walking trail expansions, etc.

The Try This self-funded conference, which attracted over 500 people in its second and third year, has built sustainability into the program. Both Kentucky and North Carolina have reached out to the Try This Steering Committee to replicate the program in their states. The WV Association of Counties is proud to be involved in the program as part of the steering committee.