GHEP’s Communities Organized for Health and Environment (COHEN) program is a set of structured and unstructured activities aimed at connecting individuals with outdoor activities that increase their understanding of the natural resources and mitigate prevalent risk factors of poor health outcomes.
The COHEN program is at the center of GHEP’s commitment to increase the engagement of minority communities in environmental issues, natural resources restoration, and supporting individuals to make the connection between optimum health and improvement and outdoor activities.
COHEN comprises of four inter-related components, namely: 1) a Family Tree Adoption Program, 2) Anacostia Trail Cleanup /Chesapeake /Anacostia Vanguards, 3) Outdoor Physical Activity, and 4) a Health and Environment Day workshop.
1) Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP): Under this component, families will voluntarily sign-up to adopt trees and plant them in their private properties. COHEN’s environmental vanguard team will buy and/or obtain local trees from PG county Department of Environment. The team will schedule tree planting with adopting families. On tree planting day, we will take pictures and upload on GHEP website as well as on Instagram or Facebook page. In addition, adopting families will produce short video testimonials to be posted on GHEP YouTube channel. FTAP will also be an opportunity for watershed education by tree experts and the vanguard team.
2) Anacostia Trail Cleanup/Chesapeake/Anacostia Vanguards: Under this component, GHEP will organize community members, young and old, to collectively walk through designated portions of the Anacostia/Chesapeake bay trails collecting refuse that will contribute to the pollution of the waters. Under this component, we will organize community members, young and old, to collectively walk through designated portions of the Anacostia/Chesapeake bay trails collecting refuse that will contribute to the pollution of the waters.
3) Outdoor Physical Activity: Under this component, members of the community will convene at a local park and engage in outdoor physical exercises lasting at least the recommended 60 minutes of sustained exercise program. This will be led by community members and trained exercise specialists who will use the opportunity to provide health education on the role of physical exercise in optimal health.
4) Health and Environment Day Workshop: This project will be an indoor workshop on watershed education with expert and community-based presenters and trainers. Each of the presenters will provide educational seminars on different health, environment, and watershed education issues, including such topics as pollution prevention, water protection, and the relationship between water quality in relationship with individual and community health. The workshop will also include indoor and open-door stands by vendors and partners who are working in the fields of health and environment who will share resources with members of the community.
Acknowledgement: The COHEN program is supported through a 2015 Outdoor Health Grant Program #31501 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT). COHEN also receives technical support from the PG County Department of the Environment. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CBT, PG County, or other supporting organizations.