Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) supports implementation of evidence-based strategies to improve the health of communities and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease. PICH builds on a body of knowledge developed through previously funded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs and encourages collaborations with a multi-sectoral coalition to implement sustainable changes in communities where people live, learn, work, and play.

Current programs funded by PICH are:

Nowata CAN Community Garden
The Nowata CAN Community Garden was started in April of 2012 with grant funding provided by the Cherokee Nation. The community garden occupies approximately 11,250 square feet of land that has been generously free-leased to Nowata CAN by the Nowata County Fair Board. Included in the community garden are 20, 10’x4’ raised beds, 3 keyhole garden beds, a butterfly garden, 2 outdoor classroom areas, a compost pile, 2 apple trees, a hoop house and a chicken house complete with 3 hens! The use of the Nowata CAN Community Garden is free to all Nowata citizens. Every year the Nowata CAN Community Garden offers a unique program called the “Community Harvest”. Crops, such as thornless blackberries, asparagus and sweet corn, are grown outside the garden fence. These crops can be harvested by anyone in the Nowata community, even if they don’t participate in the community garden!

Boys And Girls Club Summer Garden Program
Every summer, during the months of June and July, the Boys and Girls Club of Nowata participates in a Summer Garden Program with Nowata CAN. The Club grows a variety of vegetables at the Nowata CAN Community Garden, then sells it at the Nowata Garden Market. Nowata CAN partners with Nowata and Washington County Cooperative Extension Services to work with the students in the garden twice a week. The students learn about planting, raising, harvesting and marketing produce! It is a small fundraiser for the Club and the students get to learn about and see the positive impact they are making on the local food system.

Nowata Garden Market
The Nowata Garden Market is an evening farmers market that takes place every Wednesday from 4-6 PM May through September in downtown Nowata. The Garden Market is registered with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and accepts both SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and SFMNP (Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program) benefits! Currently, the Garden Market has 8 regular vendors from Nowata and the surrounding communities and continues to grow. Patrons to the Garden Market can shop for a variety of locally raised goods including fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, eggs, honey, pecans, fresh baked bread and hand-spun wool products.

Nowata CAN Garden Classes
Nowata CAN offers free monthly gardening classes to Nowata and the surrounding communities. The garden classes happen on the second Tuesday of every month, from 6-8 PM at the Nowata County Extension Office and the Nowata CAN Community Garden. Each monthly garden class covers a specific topic presented by a local or regional expert. Topics have included conservation, plant propagation, integrated pest management, Oklahoma proven plants, edible flower gardening, and flower arranging. These classes are open to all ages and provide citizens with a wide range of basic gardening knowledge that they can take home with them and use in their own gardens.