What’s happening in #WalCo this week? Salt Awareness Week; ARPA grant-funding announcement; and Healthy Mom, Happy Baby classes.
Smart-Salting Strategies take Center Stage during Salt Awareness Week
Excessive application of winter road salt prematurely ages roads, bridges, and sidewalks. Additionally, all the salt that we apply to streets and sidewalks ends up in our freshwater. Throughout Salt Awareness Week, January 23 to 27, our friends at WI Salt Wise have been hosting livestreams featuring experts in hydrology, biogeochemistry, public health, and conservation sharing resources and information about the impacts of salt pollution on freshwater ecosystems and our health. You can still catch one of Salt Wise’s livestreams—register online at www.wisaltwise.com and tune in daily from 12:30 to 1 p.m. We’ve also been sharing tips and resources on our Facebook page, as well as information about what we’re doing to reduce our road salt use. The Walworth County Department of Public Works' Winter Maintenance Manual also outlines our annual salting strategies.
ARPA Grant-Funding Program Announcement
Walworth County has awarded the United Way of Walworth County an additional $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be distributed to local nonprofits through an ARPA grant-funding program. The goal of the program is to offset the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic incurred by local 501(c)(3) agencies.
For this round, eligible agencies can request between $1,000 and $9,000 and may utilize the grant for assistance implementing COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics; technical assistance, consulting, or other services for business planning; assistance with payroll support, costs to retain employees or other operating costs; or assistance to those impacted by COVID-19.
Applications will be available online at www.unitedwaywalworth.org on February 3, 2023. Qualifying 501(c)(3) agencies interested in applying may also contact Tammy Dunn for an application, (262) 374-4474. The deadline to apply is February 17, 2023, at 5 p.m. The goal is to issue the awards by the end of March.
This project is being supported in whole or in part by federal award number FAIN #SLFRP 2146 awarded to Walworth County by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Help Reduce Drifting Snow on our Roadways: Join our Living Snow Fence Program
Living—or natural—snow fences are rows of living plants, such as corn stalks, grasses, shrubs, or trees, that act as structural barriers or windbreaks that cause blowing snow to settle behind the barrier before reaching and accumulating on the adjacent roadway. When the snow is at rest, the particles freeze together, making a snowdrift. This helps keep the traveling public on the road safer by improving visibility and reducing roadway accumulations during harsh weather. Living snow fences are highly effective, budget-friendly and environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic fencing.
A good example of this type of living snow fence can be found at Pearce’s Farm Stand in Walworth (see photo, above). For the past few seasons, the Pearce family has left a few rows of corn up along a quarter-mile stretch of their property adjacent to the intersection of County Highway F and State Highway 67. The Pearce’s living snow fence has effectively reduced blowing snow from drifting across this busy road.
Walworth County Public Works continues to seek out additional locations for living snow fences. If you own property along County or State roadways and would like to be part of the County’s living snow fence program, please contact Walworth County Public Works at (262) 741-3114, Option 1.
Healthy Mom, Happy Baby Classes
Walworth County Health & Human Services, in collaboration with Tree House Child and Family Center, will host the first session of Healthy Mom, Happy Baby classes every Wednesday from February 8, 2023, to March 15, 2023, from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Healthy Mom, Happy Baby group is open to pregnant women and new moms under the age of 21 and their support person(s). The group meets weekly for six consecutive weeks.
The group is designed to help young parents learn more about raising a child and to increase their knowledge about safety interventions, community resources, and building a support network with other young parents. In addition, participants will learn about the basics of parenthood including stress management, car seats, infant development, and breastfeeding. Free snacks, baby items, and gas cards are provided to participants at each session. Transportation can be made available to those who need assistance and school credit may be available to students who participate.
The second session of Healthy Mom, Happy Baby will run every Wednesday from May 3, 2023, to June 7, 2023, from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. All classes are held at Walworth County Health & Human Services, 1910 County Rd. NN, Elkhorn, WI 53121.
Job of the Week: Mental Health Navigator
The Department of Health & Human Services is looking for a Mental Health Navigator. This position will work with Elkhorn Area School District students and their families, serving as the district liaison to provide mental health services and supports to students. The ideal candidate should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or a related field and one year of relevant prior experience. Learn more and apply online: https://bit.ly/WalCoJobs.
Follow us! Walworth County is on Facebook
Walworth County has launched an official Facebook page. Here’s what you can expect to see on the page: News alerts, information about upcoming County Board meetings and public hearings, details about programs and services, park events and highlights, construction updates, community updates, career and volunteer opportunities, answers to FAQs, behind-the-scenes snapshots, and more. We hope you’ll give us a follow and share this page with your friends, family, and neighbors. Also, check out these County departments on Facebook: