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K-State Today

December 4, 2014



Kinesiology faculty, students publish work with the Sunflower Foundation

By Katie Heinrich

The Sunflower Foundation contracted with kinesiology's Katie Heinrich and Andrew Kaczynski, now at the University of South Carolina, in 2012 to conduct a qualitative evaluation study of the Sunflower Trails program.

The Sunflower Foundation's Sunflower Trails program was established in 2005 to support trail building as a means of increasing opportunities for outdoor physical activity statewide. From 2005 through 2012, the Sunflower Trails program funded 70 trail construction projects for 40 municipalities, 15 schools and 15 communities.

Two former students in the Master of Public Health program, Joseph Lightner, currently a kinesiology doctoral student, and Katherine Oestman, Master of Public Health graduate at the Riley County Health Department, assisted with the study.

Results were published Nov. 14 in Preventing Chronic Disease, the online journal for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It reported that the Sunflower Trails program was instrumental in developing trail projects to provide new physical activity resources across Kansas. Public health practitioners seeking to increase physical activity should seek funding from foundations that focus on health.

The Sunflower Foundation has continued the program since that time awarding more than 110 trail grants to help build, expand, enhance or connect Kansas trails.

The online publication is are available here.