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Oklahoma TSET awards nearly $4.6 million to health improvement projects

 Boomtown playground in Seminole.
Visit Seminole OK
Boomtown playground in Seminole.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust awarded nearly $4.6 million to fund 11 community projects aiming to better health outcomes in Oklahoma through enhanced infrastructure.

TSET will fund things like the development of plans for community parks and trail systems, improvements to community fitness centers and ADA-compliant sidewalks and playgrounds. There are 11 awardees, and their projects, breakdown like this:

  • City of Pauls Valley: $150,000 to develop plans for walking, jogging and biking trails. 
  • Eastern Oklahoma State College: $110,000 to develop plans for a health and wellness center. 
  • Locust Grove Public Works Authority: $56,350 for improvements to Pipe Springs Park. 
  • Oklahoma State University, Northern Oklahoma College Campus: $147,000 to develop plans to improve a pond and expand access to recreation. 
  • City of Seminole, $480,033 to make Boomtown Park more walkable and ADA inclusive and an additional $80,000 to create a plan for accessible sidewalks on Main Street.  
  • Cushing Public Schools: $975,512 to close gap in bicycle and pedestrian trail access. 
  • Town of Fort Cobb: $500,000 to improve walkability and ADA-compliance of downtown sidewalks. 
  • Town of Westville: $983,777 to further local plan to connect public areas, improve safety and refurbish a former nursing home site into a multi-outdoor public space. 
  • Town of Wynnewood: $902,660 to renovate the town’s swimming pool. 
  • City of Tishomingo: $214,300 for enhancements to Henrietta Gladdis Park. 

There is a link between environments encouraging physical activity and things like reduced risk for obesity, heart disease and stroke. Julie Bisbee, the trust’s executive director, said in a news release, TSET recognizes this connection and looks forward to seeing how projects impact communities throughout Oklahoma.

“Our environment impacts our health,” Bisbee said in the release. “Thoughtfully designed downtowns, parks, community centers and other public spaces encourage active lifestyles to keep us moving and healthy.”

Several of the programs will be funded over three years.

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Jillian Taylor has been StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter since August 2023.
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