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Elko County Programs

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Issue:

The problem of obesity in children is in the forefront of nationwide research efforts, and there are documented physical and mental health outcomes associated with childhood obesity that contribute to lifelong chronic health problems which may disproportionately affect people living in rural places. Living in a rural areas tends to increase the risk of overweight and obesity for children and adults; the prevalence of overweight children and obesity is higher among children living in rural communities (Lutfiyya, M., Lipsky, M., Wisdom-Behounek, J. & Inpanbutr-Martinkus, M., 2007). According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2010), 27.6% of the population living in Wells, Nevada is children under the age of 18 years. The Wells population living below the poverty level is 4.2%, and 37% of students are receiving free or reduced lunch. The Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy found that 29.6% of Nevada’s children entering kindergarten are overweight or obese. Helping children develop healthy habits and providing healthy eating and activity supports to balance their energy intake with energy expenditure is an important aspect to maintaining healthy weight, preventing overweight and obesity and minimizing chronic disease risk. Most evidence-based strategies to battle the childhood obesity epidemic have been developed and tested in urban or non-rural settings and target either individuals or environments (University of Washington, 2012). Preventing obesity among rural residents requires an understanding of the supports and barriers to healthy eating and active living in rural places. The overall goal of the Generating Rural Options for Weight-Healthy Kids and Communities (GROW HKC) project is to learn more about the factors influencing health behaviors in rural communities in order to prevent obesity in rural children by improving their behavioral environments, at home, in school and in the community to make healthy eating and activity an easy and preferred choice. The Healthy Eating Active Living Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is an evidence-based engagement and assessment tool used to examine and map community features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. It integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global position system (GPS) technology and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community place to explore, understand, and improve community livability.

What has Been Done:

Wells, Nevada, a community in Elko County was selected to be one of the four rural Nevada communities to participate in this study. The Wells City Manager championed this project. Eleven adult volunteers served as mappers and used GPS cameras to document their rural community environment as either preventing or promoting obesity. A community conversation was conducted to assess local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain and obesity among children and families. The GPS data collected was sent to Oregon State for GIS analysis. Oregon State University Extension provided GIS maps and reports that were shared with the community.

Impact:

Attributes of the Wells community environment as perceived by local residents to be obesity preventing or promoting were documented and included in a final HEAL MAPPS report. The residents assessed local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to inhibit unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and families. The HEAL MAPPS community report, based on Community Readiness Assessment Model that included data collected from the GIS/GPS mapping process and residents’ voiced perceptions, rated Wells’ stage of readiness to implement environmental and policy strategies to prevent obesity at a stage 3, vague awareness. The report also provided recommendations to the community on raising awareness through media campaigns, providing information to the community on how and where to access and utilize community resources and continue to meet with the Wells GROW Healthy Kids and Community team to motivate the community to address issues related to healthful eating and physical activity. The qualitative data gathered from the mapper volunteers and the community conversation needs further analysis to determine priorities.


Partners: City of Wells, Wells Family Resource Center, Wells Combined Schools

Programs Program Information

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

Capacity building strengthens an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to have a positive impact on communities. Strategic thinking, visioning, action planning, and board development are capacity building activities.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Heart and Shield

Parents and children who have experienced domestic violence in the past participate in hands-on activities to foster family bonds, enhance communication and problem solving skills, and focus on healthy relationships. Parents learn about their child’s development, parenting styles, guidance, coping skills and health and wellness while children and youth build friendships, listening and other social and emotional skills. Each session of the 12-week program includes a healthy snack or meal, separate parent and child meetings, family-based activities, a health and wellness tip and a closing activity. Parent interact with one another during the parent meetings through group discussions, role play and other experiential-based activities. Children and youth learn important skills through play, group discussions, theatre arts, games and other hands on activities.

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding to Child Maltreatment

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in Elko County. Child caregivers, youth workers, volunteers and anyone interested in learning what they can do to prevent child abuse and neglect can attend this workshop. Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, understand their reporting requirements and their role in preventing child maltreatment.

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Beef Quality Assurance
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Stronger Economies Together
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Weed Prevention and Management