Growing Healthy Communities

The Growing Healthy Communities project is administered by the UALR Department of Health Sciences and focuses on the University District. The project was initially funded by the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention. Subsequent project activities have been funded through private, corporate donations.

Growing Healthy Communities objectives include increasing University District residents’ physical activities, improving their access to healthy food, and achieving environmental and policy changes that support healthy living. Our purpose is to halt the obesity epidemic by making healthy choices easier to obtain or realize for University District residents.

Increase the percentage of individuals who live within the University District with access to healthy and affordable food. Increase the percentage of individuals within the University District who engage in regular physical activity.


  1. Add an additional 30 raised bed gardens within the university district
  2. Increase garden training availability
  3. Organize and establish a community garden association
  4. Provide cooking classes for seniors focused on healthy food preparation
  5. As a part of the Growing Health Communities Grant the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has changed its policy to admit University District residents into the Donaghey Student Center fitness facility for one year at no charge and thereafter the residents would be charged a lowered rate for memberships
  6. Provide fitness programming through the FitWell DSC program
  7. Organize and establish a University District Fitness Association

In 2011, The UALR GHC Project activities included a walkability assessment, providing 30 raised planting beds in back yards of UD residents, and providing a free wellness clinic and membership in the UALR Fitness Center for UD residents. 250 UD residents participated in the Wellness Clinic and received the free membership in the fitness center.

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