Madison County Health Department Opens New Outdoor Learning Center

Estimated read time 4 min read

The Madison County Health Department has recently cut the ribbon on its new Outdoor Learning Center. March 22 marked the opening of this fresh addition, located right behind the main building at 493 Medical Park Drive in Marshall. It’s a welcome update to both health and recreational options in the county.

A Dream Realized

Deana Stephens, who heads Community Health for the department, couldn’t hide her excitement about the center finally being open. “I’m thrilled to see our Madison County Community Outdoor Learning Center come to life,” she said. “It’s something we’ve been dreaming up for a long time.” Her words echo the department’s goal to foster places where people of all ages can get active and enjoy nature.

With these goals in mind, we aimed to create an exciting play zone for kids and a calm waiting area for relatives involved with healthcare experts. This initiative marks a significant advancement in merging public health and community growth.


Celebrating the Ribbon Cutting

The opening of the Outdoor Learning Center was an important event that showcased its many advantages. Tammy Cody, the County Health Director, spoke to those gathered there. She highlighted how tough it is to pin down what public health means, noting that “There are so many parts of it we don’t usually see in our day-to-day.” The Outdoor Learning Center stands as a prime illustration of this complexity,” she explained. Cody pointed out that the center is a place where kids can have fun, build friendships and let their creativity soar. It’s also a spot where families can come together in a welcoming and natural environment, which is good news for parents and grandparents.

Parents can bond with their kids by doing things like pushing them on swings or having fun with the merry-go-round.

Looking to the Future

The Outdoor Learning Center’s grand opening is just the start for the Health Department’s vision for the place. They plan to build a walking trail and put in equipment for adults to exercise. The goal is to get families moving together. The 2023 Madison County State of the County Health Report supports this plan. It says we need to focus on eating right, staying at a healthy weight, controlling diabetes, stopping substance abuse, and taking care of our mental health.

The report comes from Healthy Impact and highlights how the Health Department keeps working hard to solve these big health problems. They’re teaming up with others and coming up with new ideas, like this Outdoor Learning Center.

Inspiration and Collaboration

The idea for this learning center popped into Stephens’ head after he saw what another health department was doing. In another county, a single project sparked excitement among her coworkers, and now they wanted to make it happen in Madison County. They plan to create an outdoor area that is flexible enough for different activities. It’s designed to get people moving, eating better, and feeling good mentally. This team effort shows how the Health Department sees the big picture, staying active goes hand in hand with good food choices and taking care of your mind.

Addressing Stigma and Encouraging Support

The Health Department has a big goal to stamp out the shame tied to health problems like addiction, obesity, or mental illness. Cody knows how key it is for everyone to help each other out and stop judging those who struggle with these issues. If you need help with mental health or addiction treatment, the Health

The department’s made sure you can easily find what you need on their site. They’re here to help, and now it’s just a click away.


A Community Asset

The Outdoor Learning Center in Madison County is a big deal for locals’ health and happiness It gives kids and grownups the chance to work and get closer to nature. This place shows how serious the Health Department is about getting people healthy and helping them feel connected.

Now that it’s open, everyone wants it to turn into a favorite spot in Madison County, making folks’ lives better for a long time. The Health Department has more plans to make the center even better, hoping to encourage more places to do the same sort of thing here’s looking at a healthier future for Western North Carolina.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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