Trenton Health Team is proud to be featured among the BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) success stories gathered from 19 communities that participated in BUILD’s second award cohort from 2017-2019.

THT’s “Trenton Transformation: A Safe and Healthy Corridor” report outlines efforts focused on residents and public spaces along Brunswick Avenue in the city. THT worked with partners, including Isles, Snipes Farm, mural artist Leon Rainbow, Capital Health and Rutgers Extension, to improve safety and reduce chronic disease through revitalization and development of green spaces, nutrition education, new physical activity opportunities, and increased healthy food access through a new farmers market.

“As a result of gardening support and related education, the team is already seeing improvement in both students and adults,” the report states. “For students, there is an increased preference for fruits and vegetables, increased physical activity, and increased recognition of different fruits and vegetables, as well as a deeper understanding of nutrition concepts. For adults, they see increased physical activity, increased consumption of produce, and an improved sense of well-being overall.”

Overall, more than 200 people attended Brunswick Avenue Day each year; 415 customers shopped at the weekly farmers market and roughly 1,200 adults and children participated in 40 recreation events. See the Trenton Report and download from our Documents and Reports page.

BUILD worked with each local team to highlight two sets of resources to share with the broader community health sector. Together, THT and BUILD hope these resources are useful and provide new ideas and how-to lessons for tackling similar challenges.

The first is a “Community Approaches to System Change: A Compendium of Practices, Reflections, and Findings” that highlights the 58 examples of new systems level changes that occurred in these communities during their two years with BUILD. The info also dives into the trends, themes, and recommendations from this analysis that may help others who want to advance health and systems level changes in their own community. This compendium features a look at health equity approaches to systems change, as well examples related to partnerships and community engagement to drive sustainable improvements in community health.

Second is a set of 19 Community Stories that highlight the experiences and learnings of each awardee community. These stories share a wealth of learnings and approaches created by the communities during their BUILD awards, and illustrate how they set about tackling the root causes of disease in their community. Working on everything from food insecurity to asthma, and lead poisoning to tobacco cessation—these short and relatable stories help bring these health challenges to life. Each one documents the progress made, challenges met, and lives changed in the communities with practical takeaways that any community can not only relate to, but also benefit from.