Fully Accessible Trail in Belchertown
The Town of Belchertown is in the process of designing a fully accessible trail system around Lake Wallace with funding and staff assistance provided by Healthy Hampshire. The trail system is a direct investment in community health and vitality by integrating with the development of the former Belchertown State School campus, in tandem with the planned assisted living development and connecting to the nearby schools, Jessica's Boundless Playground, recreational fields and the conservation area of Lake Wallace.
Corridor Planning Process
Healthy Hampshire has been working with municipal and community leaders to prioritize pedestrian safety and connectivity within a 1.3-mile corridor where plans for extensive redevelopment are anticipated. As part of that process we have offered workshops, often in conjunction with our technical assistance providers from WalkBoston, for resident advocates interested in learning more about how community design impacts health. Walk and bicycle audits are used as a process tool to train residents in healthy community design, and in the process they collect data related to their environment and how well it supports walking and biking. A Walk Audit and Bicycle Audit have been used by the Dept. of Public Works to inform the corridor Route 202 corridor re-design process.
Town Center Development
The Route 202 corridor re-design is one project within a larger effort that the Town has undertaken to explore the town center or "nodes" within the center of Belchertown and increase a sense of place, connectivity, and economic vitality. Healthy Hampshire has supported with effort by partnering with the Planning Department to invite a Dart Assessment and Resiliency Team (DART) to Belchertown in February 2016 to explore possibilities for sustainable development within these nodes. View their report here. In addition to the DART report, Healthy Hampshire applied for and received assistance from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to conduct a Regulatory Assessment, which identified policies that both supported and inhibited access to physical activity in Belchertown. This document can be used by the Planning Board and other Town-based Boards and Committees to identify policy solutions to improving access to physical activity. In Dec. 2014 the Town of Belchertown revised their zoning for the old State School property to give preference for infrastructure that supports non-vehicular transportation, such as walking.
Healthy Hampshire Markets at Checkers
Checkers General Store & Deli in Belchertown participated in the Healthy Hampshire Markets pilot program in 2013. Checkers put up signs throughout the store to help customers identify healthier options on the shelves and improved their displays to make healthy foods more appealing. They complemented these efforts by increasing their offerings of fresh and local produce, low-salt canned items, and healthy grab-and-go items.
SNAP & Save at the Belchertown Farmers Market
As of summer 2016, the Belchertown Farmers Market now participates in SNAP & Save! Thanks to a collaborative effort between the market's board, Healthy Hampshire, and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) SNAP clients can now get their dollars matched up to $10 per market visit on Sundays in Belchertown.