The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) has recently awarded nearly $4.6 million to fund 11 community projects in the state. These initiatives are aimed at improving health outcomes and enhancing infrastructure in local communities. TSET will be providing funding for various improvements, including the development of community parks and trail systems, upgrades to fitness centers, and the construction of ADA-compliant sidewalks and playgrounds.
The 11 awardees and their respective projects include the City of Pauls Valley receiving $150,000 for the development of walking, jogging, and biking trails; Eastern Oklahoma State College receiving $110,000 for a health and wellness center; Locust Grove Public Works Authority receiving $56,350 for improvements to Pipe Springs Park; Oklahoma State University receiving $274,999 for a wellness center expansion; Northern Oklahoma College Campus receiving $238,375 for a wellness center expansion; the City of Seminole receiving $238,375 for a wellness center expansion; Cushing Public Schools receiving $65,625 for an outdoor fitness area; Norman Public Schools receiving $62,500 for an outdoor fitness area; Warrick County Community Center in Warrick County receiving $498,749 for renovations; Owasso Wellness Center in Owasso receiving $264,749 for renovations; and several other towns and organizations.
Julie Bisbee, TSET’s executive director, highlighted the link between environments that encourage physical activity and improved health outcomes. She stated that thoughtfully designed public spaces can encourage active lifestyles and promote better health for residents. “We are committed to investing in projects that have the potential to make a meaningful impact on the health of our communities,” she said.
Several of these programs will be funded over a three-year period to allow time for project development and assessment on their impact on health outcomes.