- Healthiest in the state-that’s Marathon County’s goal.
Currently, the county is ranked 24 of 72 statewide but the Health Department hopes to change that with the recent money they received from Transform Wisconsin Coalition.
Marathon County is dedicated to using the $460,000 grant on improving the overall health of the community.
Judy Burrows, director of chronic disease for the Marathon County Health Department, said "One of the things we'd like to work with schools on is introducing community gardens at the school so that kids have an opportunity to see how food is grown, see what it looks like so they understand where their food really comes from. "
Over the next two years, the county will spend the money improving two other aspects of the community as well.
Cutting down on tobacco use by encouraging buildings to become smoke free is one of their goals and promoting exercise, by devising a plan to connect bike paths in Rothschild, Rib Mountain, and Wausau.
"It's just going to make this a healthier place to live and play and do business," said Burrows.
But while schools push to bring locally grown produce in their cafeterias this fall, farmers across central Wisconsin are struggling to grow their crops.
According to Burrows, "The drought we’re experiencing right now we really see as a short term. What we’re working on with this project is long term solutions."
Marathon County wasn’t the only area in central Wisconsin to receive money from the C.D.C.
Wood County received 320-thousand dollars and Portage County got 160-thousand.
Story By: Jenn Sullivan