The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently named the six winners of their inaugural RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize. Community Commons will highlight each community to demonstrate how data and innovative strategies can come together to improve community health.
The small, rural community of Manistique does not take bad news lying down. When the town of 4,000 heard their largest employer, Manistique Papers, was going to close, they banded together to find a new buyer and save the community. When they began to struggle with the overall health of their citizens, which includes the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, they took proactive, collaborative steps to address those issues.
- Walkability Audit One of the first thing Manistique did was arrange a walkability audit which lead to three miles of new sidewalks, a non-motorized transportation plan, and “Walk Manistique” signs throughout the city.
- Central Park The community built a new 40-acre park that includes walking and nature trails, a baseball field, a swimming beach and fishing piers.
- Coordinated School Health Plan Lacking funds for a school-based health committee, the community put one together and for the last three years they have been working on the same goals as they have for the greater community—easier access to physical activity and healthier foods.
Manistique Prize Video
Data Can Inspire Action
Manistique’s Schoolcraft County has a good percentage of citizens that bicycle or walk to work. Map data like this can inspire neighboring counties to improve their efforts to increase active commuting.
With Community Commons map tools, you can make multi-layer maps for states, counties, cities, or neighborhoods. Watch the map tutorial video then create your own map to tell a visual story and inspire action.