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Nevada County, California

(Partner: National Association of County and City Health Officials)

Community Mission

The Nevada County ACHIEVE project will engage all sectors of the community in actions that increase access to physical activity, healthy foods, and tobacco-free environments.

Community Information

Nevada County, with a population of 98,764, is located in the Sierra Foothills, and its vast opportunities for healthy living have attracted many of its current residents.  Nevertheless, over half (56%) of Nevada County adults are overweight or obese.  Furthermore, the percentage of overweight school-aged children in the county has increased by 6% since 2001 with a disparate, higher rate among low-income children.  Almost 18% of young children (ages 2-5) who participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program are overweight or at risk for becoming overweight.

While our county overall does not suffer from extremely high rates of poverty, disparities exist between ethnic and cultural groups and school districts.  Almost a third of Nevada County children are living in low-income households.  Nineteen percent of all families in Nevada County served by WIC are Spanish-speaking.  In Truckee, Spanish-speaking families account for 73% of the families served there.  The Grass Valley School District’s Free or Reduced Price Meals participation is 40%; Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District is 51.2% -- both more than double the countywide average of 19.5%.  The Latino population is growing rapidly, especially in Truckee.  From the 1990 to the 2000 Census, there was a 210% increase in Hispanic residents in Truckee.  Poverty in Truckee is also increasing rapidly, with a 70.6% increase in the number of individuals in poverty from 1990 to 2000.

Close to 70% of Nevada County households are outside of the three incorporated cities of Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Truckee.  Therefore, children are either bussed or driven to school rather than walking or biking.  The topography is another barrier to biking to school, as are the lack of safe routes for biking and walking. There are essentially no sidewalks in unincorporated areas, and because of the terrain, many streets, roads, and highways are narrow and unsafe to bicycle for school-aged children.

Community Change Strategy

  1. Promote Healthy Food Policy (e.g. retail     policies, menu labeling, vending machines, use of town and city land for gardens, etc.)
  2. Coordinate Public Access Resources (e.g. physical activity/recreation directory, trail information and visibility, organized hikes,etc.)
  3. Community Engagement (e.g. broaden stakeholder input, outreach and education regarding social determinants of health, etc.)

Community Contacts

Name E-mail Phone
Elizabeth Matson elizmatson@gmail.com (510) 529-5889
Galen Ellis Galen.Ellis@co.nevada.ca.us (530) 265-1732

NACCHO National Association of Chronic Disease Directors National Recreation and Park Association SOPHE YMCA - Activate America