Touring and Celebrating!
Imagine being asked to give up 2.5 hours on Saturday mornings two times per month for 6 months… The Freehold Intergenerational Community Council (FICC) is a group of highly dedicated community members who have done just this! From January to June 2021, FICC met via Zoom to complete the Leadership for All Ages curriculum. This training is an important aspect of the future plans for FICC, providing skills that will improve communication, problem solving and partnership.
On June 29th, the FICC participants, along with Neighborhood Connections to Health Board members and the Freehold Borough Business Administrator celebrated their accomplishments. First, this group of 22 embarked on a trolley ride through Freehold Borough, then enjoyed a meal and graduation celebration as a Freehold Borough institution, Federici’s Restaurant.
While the group had grown connected and learned quite a bit about each other throughout the training, this event was the first-time meeting in person. The bus tour was a unique opportunity to build on the work already completed during the leadership training. The last quarter of the leadership training looked to capture information about community needs, then collectively prioritize what the group wishes to focus on. One area identified was infrastructure challenges, specifically issues with walking and biking.
Freehold Borough is actively looking to apply for the Federal Safe Routes to School grant later this year, so this bus tour provided an opportunity to see areas of the Borough that they may not have ever seen, but also learn about areas that should be improved for pedestrians and bikers. Given the relatively small geography of Freehold Borough, approximately 2 square miles, this grant is a great opportunity to consider improvements in nearly any area of town. The addition of the Freehold Borough Business Administrator also provided an important linkage between the FICC members and one of the local decision makers. Robust discussions about what has already been planned for, what could be an option for improvements and ways to get more resident perspectives was the constant of the event.
Neighborhood Connections to Health is so thankful for the members of FICC and are truly excited to see how the group evolves. The sense of community, synergy and energy could be felt throughout the special celebration.
About the Grantee
Neighborhood Connections to Health (NCTH) is a community non-profit organization, which began as a portion of the work of the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA). NCTH was formed in 2016 and currently works under 4 priority areas: Intergenerational Physical Activity, Bikeability/Walkability, Lead Prevention and Access to Healthy Foods.