Oswego County Community Partners Enter Competition for National Prize

Fulton Block builders featured in competition for national prize! Take a look at this video and read about the great opportunity for Oswego County.

Fulton Block Builders is featured in the Oswego County Community Partners Competition for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national prize.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest public health philanthropy and works toward improving health and health care across America. The “Culture of Health” designation is awarded annually to four to ten communities in the U.S. The award recognizes communities that have created powerful partnerships and are committed to providing everyone, especially those facing the greatest challenges, with the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.

CiTi BOCES, Farnham Family Services, Oswego Renaissance Association, the Oswego County Health Department, and Fulton Block Builders worked together to develop the first phase of the application. They highlighted several advancements that have been made in recent years directed to improve the health of all people in the county.

Linda Eagan, special project coordinator for the Oswego County Health Department, leads the application project.
“The goal of Oswego County’s health-related partnership is to create a new ‘culture of health’ in the county,” said Eagan. “The first application highlighted four achievements in Oswego County in recent years that demonstrate sustainable change driven by progressive policies and programs that positively impact health.”

The projects highlighted in the application include various programs that enhance students’ educational achievements from kindergartners to high school seniors; different new services to break down barriers that prohibited opioid victims from accessing treatment and consultations; community enhancement projects in Fulton and Oswego; and a tobacco smoking cessation program throughout the county.

“Individuals with more education live longer, healthier lives than those with less education, and their children are more likely to thrive,” said Roseann Bayne, assistant superintendent for instruction at CiTi BOCES. “Across the U.S., there are large gaps in educational attainment between people who live in the least healthy counties and those in the healthiest counties.”

Bayne said that Oswego County educational systems are embracing a “Culture of Health for All” by prioritizing educational funding and collaborating to best meet the needs of students. The county school systems, businesses, higher education and policy makers have collaborated on many initiatives to improve high school completion rates and to target educational efforts towards the specific employment and health needs of the region. 
Behavioral health, mental health and physical health are closely connected and play a major role in people’s ability to maintain good physical health. Community leaders and partners have demonstrated a commitment to improve behavioral health and leverage the community’s strengths to be successful.

“I am so proud to live in a county that recognizes and embraces this concept,” said Eric Bresee, Executive Director of Farnham. “For instance, the first opioid treatment program within the county was initiated and barriers to access this high demand program were reduced. All the while, an innovative peer support program was implemented. These are initiatives that enhance our entire community.”

Research has shown that how well and how long people live are determined by where they live. 

“In our communities, we should create conditions that enable us to live the healthiest life possible,” said Paul Stewart, executive director of the Oswego Renaissance Association. “People with greater social support, less isolation, and greater interpersonal trust live longer and healthier lives than those who are socially isolated. Communities richer in social connections provide residents with greater access to support and resources than those that are less tightly knit. By building neighborly relationships that foster community through the actions of residents taking effective control of their neighborhoods, we, as a community, are strategizing and acting with intention to support all residents.”

Eagan noted that partners in the first phase of the “Culture of Health” competition have learned a great deal during the process and are proud to be selected to move on to the next level of competition. They plan to reach out to other agencies and individuals as they continue to move forward in the application process.

“By coming together to review data and collectively identify priorities, by creating partnerships that target key populations and implementing long-term, research-based strategies, and by engaging community members and building community health improvement initiatives at all levels, Oswego County communities can and will sustain their collective efforts. Eventually every resident will have equal opportunities to thrive,” said Eagan.

For more information on how to become involved in the process, contact Brenda Hillman at the Oswego County Health Department, weekdays, phone 315-349-3540.

Huhtamaki Supports Fulton Block Builders in More Ways Than One

Fulton, NY - Mark Southwick and Joe McConnell recently presented Linda Eagan with a check for $1,000.00 to support the Fulton Block Builder (FBB) matching grant program.

“We recognize that our communities strengthen when we work as a team to build commonalities and support the causes that are essential for community health and vitality. One of our core values is to treat our world with respect. That means caring about each other, the environment and the communities where we do business. FBB’s mission to Restore City Pride -One Block at a Time is a program Huhtamaki is proud to support. We are especially proud of the resident’s support and belief in their community and properties, by resident’s investing three times the amount of the grant funds in 2017” said Southwick.

In addition to the financial support Mark and Joe spent time learning about the program from Linda and John and brainstormed more ways that Huhtamaki could lend more support to this program.

One of the most exciting ideas to come out of the session was Huhtamaki’s suggestion to help FBB advertise during the period that FBB applications are being accepted (January through March.)

Eagan and Munk both praised this idea as many in the community are still unaware of the program.

“Every way we can get the word out will help. FBB wants every homeowner in the city to know about this new community revitalization program and have the opportunity to apply. Putting a banner on the Huhtamaki building will be like having our own billboard” said Eagan.

The FBB Block Challenge is a neighborhood revitalization program that encourages groups of neighbors to collaborate on exterior improvements to their properties in order to build confidence in Fulton’s neighborhoods and inspire others to reinvest.

Each participating property owner in a Challenge Block is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match on exterior improvements (visible from the street), up to $1,000.

If $500 is spent, a $250 match will be made. If $2,000 or more is spent the match will be $1,000. (minus taxes.)

Tips for a Competitive Application and Pre-applications are available on the FBB website: https://www.fultonblockbuilders.com/apply/

Huhtamaki proudly bears the name of its founder, Mr. Heikki Huhtamäki.

Young Heikki, a village baker’s son, established Huhtamäki Industries in 1920 in Kokkola, Finland.

Ever since then, they’ve followed his spirit of adventure in exploring new opportunities across the world. Their purpose is to help great products reach more people, more easily.

Today Huhtamaki operates around the world, manufacturing in six continents.

They continue to form important partnerships and to make acquisitions where it counts for their customers, as well as growing organically.

Right now, Huhtamaki is growing its presence in fast-growing regions, including Africa and the Middle East, making them well placed to serve both global and local customers.

Mark Southwick, Huhtamaki Plant Manager and Joe McConnell Operations Manager are seen here with Linda Eagan, Fulton Block Builders (FBB) Administrative Director. Along with them is John Munk Huhtamaki Graphics Coordinator. John is also an FBB volunteer.

Mark Southwick, Huhtamaki Plant Manager and Joe McConnell Operations Manager are seen here with Linda Eagan, Fulton Block Builders (FBB) Administrative Director. Along with them is John Munk Huhtamaki Graphics Coordinator. John is also an FBB volunteer.

Let us tell you about our Block Leaders

Block Leaders are an integral part of the Healthy Block Initiative. They are the neighbors who step up and organize the block to submit the pre-applications and final applications.

They open their homes to neighbors and gather everyone together to talk about final projects, the mid-season parties in parks or cookouts in back yards, and coordinate opportunities for neighbors to offer each other help with projects or tools to make the job easier. They are the backbone of the organization and they do it because they care about their neighborhoods and the well-being of our city. For that, Block Leaders, we thank you.

Let us introduce you to two more of our Block Leaders, Mike MacDougall (L) and Stephen Bollenbacher with Donna Russell (R). Check out the improvements to their properties!

Watch us grow!

Have you seen these signs popping up in Fulton yards?

We did it a little different this year. We asked homeowners who were awarded grants to plant the signs in their yards so we could all watch the project progress.

You may see a new porch, an upgraded driveway, windows, mailboxes, landscaping, new front doors painted brightly or even something simple yet lovely, like bright and colorful flowers planted in the yard to admire year-after-year.

No matter what, you are definitely seeing homeowners and landlords take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods.

Here are a couple of great examples in Zone 6. 
Roberta added a new front stoop, which means a safer entryway when friends stop by. Barbara added a beautiful new porch to their home, which means additional sitting space to admire the view. Congrats to you both!

So, keep your eyes on the curb appeal that is happening this summer. Good people making great changes.


Fulton Block Builders Issues First Check of 2018

Fulton, NY - The first Fulton Block Builder check is presented to the Stoutenger’s.

The couple has completed over $10,000.00 worth of exterior enhancements to their property, and Angela has taken on the responsibilities of the Block Leader.

“I think this is a great program and it really helps build strong bonds in the neighborhood. I wanted to help in every way I can.” said Angela “Fulton has a long history of strong and friendly residents, I think FBB reminds us that we each have a part in where our city goes from here.”

The Stoutenger’s improvements included replacing their roof, adding a Coventry wall and cleaning up all the landscaping.

They’ve also added 3 new wall sconces trimmed up the tree in their front yard to open the view of their home and removed the satellite dish.

“These last two items are just as important as the additions to their home,” said Linda Eagan, FBB director.

“Not all improvements require much time or money. Separate from the projects each applicant outlines, they are also asked to indicate: A) one small thing you will add to your property to strengthen your neighborhood, and B) one small negative condition you can remove from your property. Examples of small things to add: hanging flowers, edging the lawn, putting out a new welcome mat, adding a porch flag, etc. Examples of negative conditions that can be removed: junk/ clutter on front porch or lawn, garbage cans that are routinely visible from the street, routinely tall (unmowed grass), unused satellite dishes on roof, etc. The Stoutenger’s are not only the first to finish they are an inspiration in the city,” Eagan concluded.

Tonya Crisafulli and John Monk are the volunteer FBB Ambassadors for Stoutenger’s area of the city.

Tonya said, “The seeds for reclaiming Fulton have been planted and now they are beginning to bloom. The community involvement that is brought about through Fulton Block Builders positively weaves the economic, cultural, civic, and societal fabric of our community.”

Fulton Block Builders couldn’t have asked for a stronger start.