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The Rock County Health Department received a $150,000 grant to work with the City of Janesville to improve the health of Janesville residents by identifying the health concerns of citizens and using these health concerns to guide redevelopment strategies of abandoned or underused industrial or commercial properties. The presence of old and abandoned buildings can have a number of negative health impacts, including:
- Lower property values
- Poor housing conditions
- Limited access to healthy foods, recreation, medical care and other services
- High crime
- Health problems such as lead poisoning and asthma
- Lower life expectancy
By fixing up old buildings and attracting new businesses, Janesville will benefit from more jobs and more money for schools, roads and social programs. Neighborhoods will improve. Health will improve.
For more information about the City of Janesville’s Comprehensive Brownfields Program, visit the City of Janesville Redevelopment Program webpage.
Please fill out the form below if you would like to contribute or would like more information.
The Health Department has met with 14 community organizations to obtain feedback from community members regarding what community health issues are important to them and what changes people would like to see happen in Janesville. On April 16, 2013, the Health Department held an open public workshop to share this feedback and hear any additional thoughts people wanted to add. JATV recorded the event and will soon post the footage on the JATV YouTube channel.
Participants at the community event were also asked which health issues they felt were most important and which redevelopment ideas they liked the most. Some of the important health issues selected included:
- Hard to eat healthy/need education about balanced diets
- Limited resources for mental health care/counseling
- Janesville has a poor image and lacks a strong sense of community
- The river needs to be accentuated/promoted as central to the city
And some of the favorite redevelopment ideas people selected included:
- Year-round Farmers Market
- Community campaigns to bring people downtown
- Remove steep retaining walls around the river and replace with graduated walls/stairs/landscaping
- Create a kayaking course along the river
- Clean up and fix up rundown buildings
To see the complete list of the 34 community health issues, and the numerous and creative redevelopment ideas, view the May 2013 (Re)Energize Janesville report (594KB).
This project is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number 1E11TS000188-01 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The contents of this site are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the ATSDR.