Healthy Hampshire works with the following Hilltowns in Hampshire and Hampden Counties:
Walk-Friendly Communities Program
Healthy Hampshire has partnered with eight Hilltowns to date to create user-friendly maps that highlight the best routes and loops in their towns for walking, with levels ranging from easy to challenging and terrain that includes sidewalks, roadside shoulders, dirt paths and dirt roads. With funding from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and Healthy Hampshire, the maps were created as part of an effort to support people of all ages and abilities to take advantage of one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise: walking. The maps are unique to each town and feature historical, cultural and ecological points of interest in addition to the walking routes.
Clinical Prevention Partnership with Hilltown Community Health Center
Healthy Hampshire partners with the Hilltown Community Health Center to improve internal operations and strengthen clinical-community linkages that help to identify patients at risk of chronic disease and address their needs in a comprehensive and efficient manner. This includes strengthening the capacity of Community Health Workers, working with the Health Center on Quality Improvement initiatives, and referring patients to a Diabetes Prevention Program. Visit the Clinical Prevention page for more information.
Healthy Hilltowns Strategic Plan and RFP
Healthy Hampshire began its strategic planning process by conducting an assessment [PDF] of 10 Hilltowns in Hampshire and Hampden Counties to identify policies and practices that promoted walking, community use agreements, and access to healthy food at retail outlets, pantries and other food sites. The assessment also included maps of popular, accessible walking routes and loops within each town. Here is the region-wide map. For town-based maps, feel free to Contact Us.
On September 19th and 21st, 2016, Healthy Hampshire, in partnership with the Hilltown Community Health Centers (HCHC) and the Hilltown Community Development Corporation (HCDC), hosted a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) to facilitate a series of meetings focused on increasing opportunities for healthy eating and active living in Healthy Hampshire's 10 Hilltown communities. The SDAT program, an initiative of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), sent a team of volunteer professionals from a variety of disciplines to communities to work with them on sustainable design issues. The team produced a report [PDF] which establishes a vision and recommendations for six domains: Food, Mobility, Economy, Housing, Open Space and Social Connectivity.
Riverwalk Development in Huntington
The Town of Huntington is receiving funding and staff assistance from Healthy Hampshire to develop access to the riverfront through the lot behind Town Hall by designing a riverwalk with fully accessible public paths for exercising, relaxing, picnicking or fishing. The completed park will be a highly visible asset increasing the perception of love of the outdoors, history, the Westfield River and Huntington’s community spirit. We anticipate a fully usable Riverwalk with extension and features such as benches and signage added as funding allows. The Riverwalk will highlight one of its most beautiful assets—the Westfield River—while creating a sense of place within Huntington center that emphasizes outdoor activity. As a support to this work, a walk audit was conducted in Spring 2017 by WalkBoston to identify gaps in pedestrian and access and connectivity within the town center area.
Town Center Development in Goshen
The Hilltown Community Development Corporation, with funding and staff assistance from Healthy Hampshire, is working with town stakeholders to develop a vision for Goshen town center with an emphasis on safe walking, signage, street scape design and walking trails that may connect the town center to the DAR State Park or other recreational areas. The town center of Goshen is and will be undergoing some changes in the next few years. Renovations to the history Town Hall are underway, and a new senior housing development spearheaded by the Hilltown CDC will begin construction this spring. Accessibility for older adults, including crosswalks, ramps, and other amenities will promote active lifestyles, especially for those who will be moving into the new units. Creating a sense of place that is both accessible and attractive will encourage pedestrian activity, calm traffic and contribute to a sense of community. A walk audit was conducted in Spring 2017 with WalkBoston which helped to identify barriers to pedestrian safety and connectivity in the town center area and accompanying trails nearby.
Hilltowns Destination Map
The Jacob’s Ladder Business Association (JLBA) created a “Hilltown Destinations” map with funding and staff assistance from Healthy Hampshire, which includes at least two dozen family friendly, well-marked, accessible trail heads in twelve Hilltown communities. To support hikers and tourists, the map also includes JLBA businesses and access points for food, water, gasoline, and bathrooms for public use.
Chester Walking Trails Map
Healthy Hampshire partnered with the Town of Chester to produce a walking routes and loops map focused on the village center that also publicizes local business and historical points of interest as well as trailheads and annual town events. The walking map was part of a larger effort to promote connections to the Highlands Footpath. With Healthy Hampshire funding, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission conducted a study of three different routes within Chester that could link to the Highlands Footpath, assessing these routes for ease and safety for walkers and producing recommendations about how to improve these routes for safer connection to this planned regional Footpath.
Hilltown Mobile Market
The Hilltown Mobile Market is an innovative collaboration between Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown Community Development, and the Hilltown Community Health Center to increase the availability of fresh, local, and affordable produce to Hilltown residents. The market aggregates fresh Hilltown-grown farm produce each week from local partner farms and distributes pre-sold farm shares and aditional produce from its colorful "veggie van" from July through October. Customers can shop for produce using cash, credit, SNAP, HIP, WIC and Senior FMNP Coupons. In 2020, the market served four communities: Blandford, Cummington, Huntington and Worthington, and distributed over 80 farm shares, more than half of which went to low-income families. Planning is already underway for the 2021 season with support from Healthy Hampshire! If you are interested in joining our constituent-led advisory body, the Hilltown Food Council, contact Caitlin Marquis.