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Building Healthy Communities | Clinton County

Clinton County is one of the most rural counties in New York State—and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Home to Adirondack National Park, Lake Champlain, ski areas, campgrounds, and golf courses, the county is visited by thousands of tourists each year. For the county’s low-income residents, however, many of these activities are out of reach for them. Poverty and unreliable transportation are exacerbated by geographic isolation, as residents must travel farther for nearly everything: school, health care, exercise, food, and social activities. Lack of access to healthy food is also a major problem—more than 75% of the population does not consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Although the area is rich in agriculture, the county’s food prices are also higher compared with downstate.

Grantee Name: Clinton County Health Department 
Project Title: Clinton County Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Grant Amount: $250,000

Grantee Name: Clinton County Health Department
Project Title: Clinton County Healthy Neighborhoods Fund Phase 2
Grant Amount: $300,000


  • 17% of residents in Clinton County live below the poverty line (higher than State average of 15.6%);
  • 22% of the population smokes (higher than State average of 14.5%);
  • 21% of children are obese;
  • Plattsburgh City Beach on Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater beach in the continental United States; and
  • Approximately 603 farms are in the county but very few formal farmers markets exist.


  • Increase access to healthy and affordable foods through the implementation of a healthy certification program for local food retailers; and
  • Enhance and activate spaces for physical activity for residents across the age spectrum. 


  • Assisted 15 local convenience stores to date apply for the Better Choice Retailers program, a healthy food certification program for retailers. Local farmes have reached out to the Clinton County Health Department in an effort to provide retailers with produce items as a way both to promote healthy, local produce and to keep more dollars in the local economy. 

  • Improved the Cadyville Trail, which included the mapping and marking of three other connecting trails and the addition of a new map signboard at the trailhead; 
  • Developed a new resident-driven walking path in the Village of Rouses Point, which creates a continuous walking loop around the village’s civic center and connects area residents to Lake Champlain. Through an NYSHealth-funded ioby campaign, residents also raised funds to purchase outdoor fitness equipment to be installed in late spring 2017; 
  • Restored a playground in the hamlet of Perry’s Mills in the Town of Champlain; and
  • Hosted 7 events on the newly improved physical spaces that have drawn out approximately 400 residents, both adults and youth, to be active. 

Community Engagement

  • Created a video series, Better Choices, Better Health, to inform residents about healthy food and physical activity options in Clinton County and motivate them to make choices that lead to better health; and   
  • Launched an online directory of healthy lifestyle programs and events calendar that allows users to search for health improvement programs, specific physical activity opportunties, and classes and events aimed at increasing knowledge of healthy nutrition practices.  






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