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Michael Edwards

Associate Professor

Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) 4012C

View CV 

Bio

Education

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.  Ph.D.  2009

  • Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.  M.A.  2006

  • Exercise and Sport Science (Sport Management)

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  B.A. 1996

  • History 

Current Research Interests

Dr. Edwards’ research is guided by an idea that developing and managing socially responsible sport and recreational facilities, programs, services, and events will encourage more active lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and provide the tools for sustainable community development. His primary research focuses on social inequality in access to physical activity and sport environments and sport’s impact on community health. Dr. Edwards is also interested in management processes and policies that can be leveraged to build sustainable community capacity for health development through sport and recreation, particularly in rural areas. Many of the problems he studies are situated at the organizational and community level and are directly related to management practices and policy development. Dr. Edwards’ expertise on quantitative methods, and multilevel modeling in particular, has been an important contribution to many of the research projects in which he has participated.

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Publications

Edwards, M. B., & Rowe, K. (2019). Managing sport for health: An introduction to the special issue. Sport Management Review22(1), 1-4.

McGillivray, D., Edwards, M. B., Brittain, I., Bocarro, J., & Koenigstorfer, J. (2019). A conceptual model and research agenda for bidding, planning and delivering Major sport events that lever human rights. Leisure Studies, 38(2), 175-190.

Brittain, I., Bocarro, J., & Edwards, M. B. (2018). The impact of sport and physical activity as a rehabilitation tool upon Invictus Games Competitors. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 15(10), S48-49.

Jones, G. J., Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N., Bunds, K. S., & Smith, J. W. (2018). Leveraging community sport organizations to promote community capacity: Strategic outcomes, challenges, and theoretical considerations.Sport Management Review, 21(3), 279-292

Hardison-Moody, A., Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N., Stein, A., Kanters, M. A., Sherman, D. M., … & Bowen, S. K. (2017). Peer Reviewed: Shared Use of Physical Activity Facilities Among North Carolina Faith Communities, 2013. Preventing Chronic Disease14.

Umstattd Meyer, M. R., Moore, J. B., Abildso, C., Edwards, M.B., Gamble, A., & Baskin, M. L. (2016). Rural active living: A call to action. Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, 25(5), E11-E20.

Duerden, M. D., Edwards, M. B., Lizzo, R. (2015). Participant impact of the conservation corps experience. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 7(1), 35-47.

Edwards, M. B. (2015). The role of sport in community capacity building: An examination of sport for development research and practice. Sport Management Review, 18(1). 6-19.

Edwards, M. B., Theriault, D. S., Shores, K. A., & Melton, K. M. (2014). Promoting youth physical activity in rural Southern communities: Practitioner perceptions of environmental opportunities and barriers. Journal of Rural Health, 30(4), 379-387.

Edwards, M. B., Duerden, M. D., Lizzo, R. D., Campbell, K. S., & Kamper, L. M. (2014). Youth time outside: A comparison of time use methodologies. Journal of Leisure Research, 46(5). 635-643.

Bocarro, J. N., Kanters, M. A., Edwards, M. B., Casper, J. M., & McKenzie, T. L. (2014). Prioritizing school sponsored sport based on observed physical activity. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28(3), S65-S71.

Matarrita-Cascante, D. Edwards, M.B., Outley, C. W., Clark, H. R. & Wu, Y. (2014). The role of community nurture in adolescent interest in college attendance. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54(2), S20.

Edwards, M. B., Kanters, M. A., Bocarro, J. N. (2014). Policy changes to implement intramurals in North Carolina middle schools: Simulated effects on sport participation rates and physical activity intensity. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.130195.

Edwards, M. B. & Cunningham, G. B. (2013). Examining the associations of perceived community racism with self-reported physical activity levels and health among older racial minority adults. Journal of Physical Activity and Health10, 932-939.

Jilcott Pitts, S. B., Edwards, M. B., Moore, J. B., Shores, K. A., DuBose, K. D., & McGranahan, D. A. (2013). Obesity is negatively associated with natural amenities and recreation facilities per capita.  Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10, 1032-1038.

Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N. & Kanters, M. A. (2013) Place disparities in supportive environments for extracurricular physical activity in North Carolina Middle Schools. Youth & Society, 45(2), 265-285.

Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N., Kanters, M. A., & Casper, J.  (2011). Participation in interscholastic and intramural sport programs in middle schools: An exploratory investigation of race and gender.  Recreational Sport Journal, 35(2). 157-173.

Edwards, M. B., & Matarrita-Cascante, D. (2011).  Rurality in leisure research: A review of four major journals. Journal of Leisure Research, 43(4). 447-474.

Floyd, M. F., Bocarro, J. N., Smith, W. R., Baran, P. K., Moore, R. C., Cosco, N. G., Edwards, M.B., Suau, L. J., & Fang, K.  (2011) Park-based physical activity among children and adolescents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(3), 258-265.

Edwards, M. B., Jilcott, S. B., Floyd, M. F., & Moore, J. B. (2011) County-level disparities in access to recreational resources and associations with obesity. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 29(2), 39-54.

Edwards, M. B., Kanters, M. A., & Bocarro, J. N. (2011) Opportunities for extracurricular physical activity in North Carolina middle schools. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8(5), 597-605.

Edwards, M. B., Miller, J. L., & Blackburn, L.  (2011). After-school programs for health promotion in rural communities: Ashe County Middle School 4-H Afterschool program. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 17(3), 283-287.

Edwards, M. B., & Welty Peachey, J. (2010). Irreconcilable differences or vibrant habitat?  An examination of sport management’s perceived invasion of recreation’s nest. Sport Management Education Journal, 4(1), 19-30.

Edwards, M. B., Alderman, D. H., & Estes, S. G. (2010).  An appraisal of stock car racing’s economic and geographic development in North America: NASCAR as flexible accumulation. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 8(1-2), 160-179.

Selected Presentations

Bocarro, J. N., Kanters, M. A., Edwards, M. B., Casper, J. (2013, February). Prioritizing school sponsored sport based on observed physical activity. Paper presented at 2013 Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Edwards, M. B., Melton, K. M., Bocarro, J. N., Kanters, M. A., Casper, J. (2013, February). Perceived administrative barriers to providing intramural sports in North Carolina middle schools. Poster presented at Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Kanters, M.A., Bocarro, J. N., Filardo, M., Edwards, M. B., McKenzie, T., Floyd, M. F. (2013, February). Shared use of school facilities with community organizations and physical activity program participation: A cost-benefit assessment. Paper presented at Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Melton, K. M., & Edwards, M. B. (2012, October). Gender Examination of Parent-Child Leisure and Cohesion. Paper presented at 2012 NRPA Leisure Research Symposium, Anaheim, California.

Kanters, M. A., Bocarro, J. N., Edwards, M.B., Casper, J., & Floyd, M. F. (2012, March). School sport participation under two school sport policies: Comparisons by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Paper presented at 2012 Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Edwards, M. B., Kanters, M. A., Bocarro, J. N., Casper, J., Floyd, M. F. (2012, March). Simulated effects of school policy changes in after-school sports on sport participation rates among North Carolina middle school students. Paper presented at 2012 Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Duerden, M., Edwards, M. B., Lizzo, R. (2012, February). Report on the Public Lands Service Coalition evaluation. The Corps Network National Conference, Washington, D.C.

Edwards, M. B., Melton, K. M., Daniel, J., Dunlap, R., & Outley, C. W. (2011, November). Perceptions of Youth Leisure-Time Physical Activity in the Rural South. Paper presented at 2011 NRPA Leisure Research Symposium, Atlanta, Georgia.

Edwards, M. B., Outley, C. W., Moore, J. B., & Dunlap, R. (2011, February). A Tale of Two Counties: Racially-Constructed Social Relations and Opportunities for Youth Physical Activity in Two Rural Counties in the Southern United States. Paper forthcoming at 2011 Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N., & Kanters, M. A. (2010, February). Community Differences in Supportive Environments for Extracurricular Physical Activity in North Carolina Middle Schools.  Paper presented at 2010 Active Living Research National Conference, San Diego, California.

Edwards, M. B., Bocarro, J. N., & Kanters, M. A. (2009, October). Exploring adolescent sport participation’s effect on adult leisure-time physical activity. Paper presented at 2009 NRPA Leisure Research Symposium, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwards, M. B., Estes, S. G., Alderman, D. H. (2008, May). “It got loose”: NASCAR’s expansion as flexible accumulation. Paper presented at North American Society of Sport Management, Toronto, Ontario.

Edwards, M. B., Kanters, M. A., Bocarro, J. N. (2008, May). Middle School Sports Participation: An Exploration of Program Structure, Gender, and Race Effects.  Paper presented at the Canadian Congress of Leisure Research, Montréal, Québec.

Edwards, M. B. (2005, November). The closing of North Wilkesboro Speedway and the long-term effects of NASCAR’s drive for expansion.  Annual conference of the North Carolina Alliance for Physical Education, Health, Recreation, and Dance, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Edwards, M. B., & Altman, S. R. (2005, March).  An analysis of legal liability related to game day promotions. Annual conference of the Sport and Recreation Law Association, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Selected Grants/Projects

Evaluation of Texas Healthy Adolescent Initiative. Texas Department of State Health Services. 2012-2013. $456,891. (Principal investigator)

Evaluation of Public Lands Service Coalition Youth Programs. PLSC (Partnership with Brigham Young University). Ongoing. $44,242 (2013). (Co-Principal Investigator. Co-PI: Mat Duerden).

Sport for Social Change: A longitudinal impacts assessment of a sport-for-homeless initiative. TAMU Division of Research. 2013. $13,608 (Co-Principal Investigator. PI: Jon Welty-Peachey).

Youth Development After-School Program Lab. Texas A&M Tier One Program.  2012-2013. $207,390 (Principal Investigator. Co-PIs: Mat Duerden, Corliss Outley, Jamilia Blake).

Texas Children’s Time Outdoors: A Pilot Study. Oak Ridge Association of Universities. 2011-2012. $5,000. Principal Investigator.

Middle School Physical Activity Policy Analysis. Active Living Research – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. $15,000. (Co-investigator with PIs Michael Kanters and Jason Bocarro).

Disparities of Place in Access to Extracurricular School Sports and Physical Activity in North Carolina Middle Schools. Active Living Research – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2009. $25,000. Principal Investigator.

Honors and Awards

2011 Oak Ridge Association of Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. One of the top 30 junior researchers nationally selected to receive seed money to enrich research and professional growth.

2011 Texas A&M Fish Camp NamesakeStudent-nominated award. Selected out of several hundred nominations as contributing to the lives of Texas A&M’s students in a positive way

2008 Outstanding Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Graduate Student, North Carolina State University

1999 and 2000 USA Today/Baseball Weekly Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year for the Appalachian League.

Grants

Date: 10/01/21 - 9/30/23
Amount: $46,691.00
Funding Agencies: Mt. Adams Institute

"The overall aim of the proposed evaluation is to examine the outcomes of MAI’s veteran’s program on developing civilian job readiness for participants. The primary outcome-related goals will be examined through multiple methods including a quasi-experimental design (with follow up) and qualitative interviews. The primary research questions and outcomes are: 1. Do veterans from the US Armed Forces who participate in VetsWork increase their job seeking self-efficacy and civilian job confidence compared to veterans who do not participate in VetsWork? 2. Do veterans from the US Armed Forces who participate in VetsWork increase their career success as indicated by employment status, employment satisfaction, and salary compared to veterans who do not participate in VetsWork? 3. Do veterans from the US Armed Forces who participate in VetsWork increase their sense of purpose, initiative, critical thinking, and communication skills in comparison to veterans who do not participate in VetsWork? 4. What is the relationship between relevant program characteristics and processes with outcomes associated with civilian job readiness and career success for VetsWork participants? Data will be collected from one cohort of VetsWork participants in Year 3 of the program. Data will be collected from participants in participating veterans corps programs who choose to take part in the evaluation (Estimated N = 75). Participants will complete self-administered online surveys as part of their exit procedures. Surveys will be administered through web-based follow up from MAI and the evaluation team. Data will be collected from a comparison group of non-participants recruited through Qualtrics Research Services (QRC). QRC maintains a nationally representative online research panel. Panel members are incentivized to participate in online surveys based on quota sampling methods. QRC will distribute the survey link to qualified panel members based on pre-determined demographics acquired from previous evaluations with MAI (e.g., status as a US Armed Forces Veteran, age, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, gender) to ensure representativeness with the sample of VetsWork participants. Online panels have been tested in numerous studies and have been statistically equivalent to randomly selected population samples, typically demonstrate higher response rates, and have characteristics of validity and reliability similar to other methods of sampling and surveying. In order to ensure an adequate sample to match with the 75 veteran corps participants, a total of 300 completed surveys will be obtained from the QRC panel. A power analysis using G-Power for the suggested Repeated Measure ANOVA and Linear Mixed Models was run and the required sample size would be 56 in each group (or 112 total). The matching process between participants and comparison groups will occur following baseline data collection through survey responses. Propensity scoring will be employed using SPSS PMS extension with propensity matching by logistic regression to ensure appropriate matched pairs at baseline. Variables used to identify similar comparison individuals will include: demographic variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, rank, marital status) and baseline measures (job seeking self-efficacy and civilian job confidence). "

Date: 04/01/18 - 6/30/22
Amount: $251,376.00
Funding Agencies: Montana Conservation Corps

Working in a partnership model, conservation corps provide land management agencies with resources that support youth development and community engagement [Engagement], a dependable workforce that balances high quality work with reduced agency costs [Efficiencies], and ensure the enhanced ability of public land agencies to sustainably provide for conservation and visitor recreation [Enhancement]. Relevant to the evaluation, the primary long-term impact associated with these program activities ensures resource institutions, managers, and industries have the long-term capacity to sustainably manage natural resource assets. Conservation corps work with public land agency partners at multiple levels. However, most of this work occurs on federal and state lands. Two important partners for conservation corps are the USFS at the federal level and respective State Parks at the state level. This evaluation will focus on the ability of participating corps to enhance the capacity of these two organizations. The overall aim of the current evaluation is to examine the outcomes of corps program on partners. The primary outcome-related goal is to determine, through a matched, quasi-experimental design, whether there is evidence that host partners demonstrate higher levels of engagement, efficiency, and environmental stewardship than similar, non-hosting affiliates. The primary research questions of this evaluation are: Using partner interviews and surveys, this evaluation will address the following research questions: Does hosting a conservation corps program increase public land agency partners’ capacity to:Engage youth and communities? Manage organizational resources more efficiently? More effectively manage public lands for conservation and visitor recreation?

Date: 10/22/20 - 10/21/21
Amount: $1,700.00
Funding Agencies: Atlantic Coast Conference

The NCAA, along with the ACC, has recognized the growing issue of mental health among student-athletes. Despite the increase in mental health issues, there is a concern that institutional resources devoted to supporting the clinical and psychological needs of student-athletes is lacking. This issue has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected university athletic departments’ finances while simultaneously increasing the stress on student-athletes. Although a growing body of research has explored factors behind student-athlete mental health during this pandemic, little research has explored the scope and best practices of mental health services that may be effective in supporting student-athletes. This study will conduct focus groups with 20 sport psychologists and athletic trainers across the ACC Schools to provide both context of current issues facing student-athletes and explore their insights of current initiatives and resources designed to provide the best mental health support during a challenging period.

Date: 10/01/20 - 9/30/21
Amount: $2,817,300.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The purpose of the SNAP-Education grant is to deliver nutrition and physical activity education to limited resource audience at the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote policy, systems, and environmental change across North Carolina, with 100 counties potentially receiving high levels of intervention.

Date: 06/01/20 - 11/30/20
Amount: $4,618.00
Funding Agencies: Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA)

Relevant to the evaluation, improving trail conditions increases the quality of trails, leading to higher accessibility and usage, enhanced visitor experiences, and increased health outcomes. Primary performance measures that will guide the evaluation plan will be taken from the National Performance Measures Instructions (Environmental Stewardship Focus Area) Addendum document published by CNCS, item EN5: • Number of miles of trails or waterways (owned/maintained by national, state, county, city or tribal governments) that are improved, and/or created.

Date: 10/01/19 - 9/30/20
Amount: $2,817,302.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The purpose of this grant is to deliver nutrition and physical activity education to limited resource audience at the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote policy, systems, and environmental change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention.

Date: 03/01/19 - 11/30/19
Amount: $4,821.00
Funding Agencies: Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA)

Multiple studies exist on the impact of environmental corps programs on participants (e.g., Duerden, et al., 2013; Education Northwest, 2013). Each evaluation provided strong evidence for the impact of the corps experience on participants’ community engagement, environmental engagement, teamwork, leadership, communication skills and grit. Emerging research demonstrates the efficacy of conservation work to provide broader social, health, and economic benefits. The primary relevant conservation activities conducted by corps are improvements to public lands and trail stewardship. Research suggests links between land improvement activities like those conducted by corps and many long-term community and ecosystem impacts. Improving public parks and habitats is associated with increased ecosystem services, improved biodiversity, and environmental health (Benayas et al., 2009; Suding, 2011). Controlling invasive species has major financial implications for many economic sectors (Pimentel, et al., 2005) and can also positively impact outdoor recreational activities (Eiswerth, et al., 2005; Julia, et al., 2007). Conservation activities can ensure that publicly accessible ecosystems remain healthy in light of high human contact (Alessa et al., 2003). Numerous studies have also indicated how poorly constructed trails negatively influence the quality of recreation experiences and decrease visitation (Roggenbuck, et al., 1993; Vaske, et al., 1993). When trails are built and maintained properly, they have the potential to produce direct economic benefits through visitor expenditures on equipment, food, transportation, and lodging (Moore, et al., 1994). PROJECT SCOPE OF WORK Relevant to the evaluation, there are two primary long-term impacts associated with corps activities. First, improving public parks and habitats promotes ecosystem health. While measuring the long-term impact of these activities lie outside the scope of a program evaluation, key antecedent mechanisms will be evaluated as program outputs and outcomes. Primary performance measures that will guide the evaluation plan will be taken from the National Performance Measures Instructions (Environmental Stewardship Focus Area) Addendum document published by CNCS, item EN5: • Number of acres of national parks, state parks, city parks, county parks, or other public and tribal lands that are improved. Based on preliminary work with NC State University, conservation corps, the Corps Network, and land management partners; the primary research question addressed in this evaluation is: were developed to guide the outcome evaluation: Do projects focused on improving and restoring habitats improve visually assessed habitat quality? To address these challenges and provide rigorous evaluation of corps programs, a collaboration between The Corps Network, member organizations of the Public Lands Service Coalition (PLSC), and North Carolina State University (NCSU), developed standardized measures of habitat improvement projects on public and private lands. Management goals identified through interviews and surveys with partner agencies and corps directed measurement selection. Specifically, this evaluation focused on improving ecosystem health and visitor experience through six objectives: 1. Encouraging or improving habitat for native plants 2. Encouraging or improving habitat for native animals 3. Discouraging or removing invasive plants from habitats 4. Discouraging or removing invasive animals from habitats 5. Reducing forest fuels to mitigate wildfire risk and severity 6. Restoring or creating habitat This evaluation explores types and amounts of activities contributing to each of the objectives, as well as detailed data focused specifically on invasive plant species management and the reduction of forest fuels, as they were the most common project types among participating corps. Review of the literature from land management agencies (e.g., U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service) and peer-reviewed journ

Date: 10/01/18 - 9/30/19
Amount: $2,209,735.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

North Carolina State University will conduct comprehensive nutrition education serving individuals and families enrolled in or eligible for SNAP and their communities through the SNAP Education program, Steps to Health. Steps to Health will deliver direct and indirect education on the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote environmental and policy change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention. For FY19, SNAP-Ed will deliver programming to SNAP-eligible pre-K and school-aged children, adults, older adults, and families) will be reached through eight multi-session, direct education programs delivered by NC State Cooperative Extension Staff and Nutrition Educators. Sessions are interactive and multi-sensory, incorporating taste tests, cooking demonstrations, games, discussion, physical activity, songs, and goal setting to facilitate learning and promote positive behavior change. Building on direct education, Steps to Heath will engage in health promotion activities by providing indirect education to people at the interpersonal and community level. Additionally, Steps to Health will enhance direct and indirect education by providing site-specific resources and engaging site leadership/management to address policy, systems and environmental approaches to behavior change. Social marketing will be integrated as a community and public health approach to nutrition education that complements direct and indirect nutrition programming and will reach approximately with children ten years and younger.

Date: 03/01/18 - 12/31/18
Amount: $3,990.00
Funding Agencies: Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA)

Relevant to the evaluation, improving trail conditions increases the quality of trails, leading to higher accessibility and usage, enhanced visitor experiences, and increased health outcomes. Primary performance measures that will guide the evaluation plan will be taken from the National Performance Measures Instructions (Environmental Stewardship Focus Area) Addendum document published by CNCS, item EN5: • Number of miles of trails or waterways (owned/maintained by national, state, county, city or tribal governments) that are improved, and/or created. Based on preliminary work with NC State University, conservation corps, the Corps Network, and land management partners; the primary research question addressed in this evaluation is: were developed to guide the outcome evaluation: RQ1: Do projects focused on improving or constructing trails improve the visual quality of trails, increase usage of trails, increase visitor safety, and reduce trail-related resource impacts? Projects scheduled for treatment will be the population and a census approach will be used. The evaluation team will provide online training modules on the use of assessment tools and protocols to establish reliable observations. Additionally, the evaluation team will be available for technical assistance via teleconference. Trained observers will assess projects prior to work commencement to determine baseline levels of trail segment quality and again at the end of the project to determine level of improvement. Assessment scores will be standardized and indexed to calculate a visual quality score for each project area. Pre and Post scores will be compared using repeated measures with relevant controls.

Date: 09/30/16 - 12/29/18
Amount: $1,547,354.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

Increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. remains a significant public health concern. Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and a range of other chronic diseases. Research shows that minority and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by obesity compared to the general population. This project, “A Multi-Level Approach to Prevent Obesity: Extension and Engagement in Four North Carolina Counties”, identifies several strategies to prevent obesity in four counties in North Carolina: Lee, Edgecombe, Halifax, and Northampton. By partnering with local Extension offices, health departments, parks and recreation departments, schools, and faith communities, we aim to: 1) increase opportunities for individual education around healthy eating and physical activity, drawing on research-based Extension programming such as EFNEP, SNAP-Education and Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More; 2) increase partnerships and supporting coalitions that are focused on increasing access to healthy foods and places to be active; 3) increase the number of organizations (faith communities and schools) and food retail establishments (corner stores and farmers’ markets) that implement healthy food standards or increase access to fresh and local foods; and 4) increase the availability of places to be active through Active Routes to School programs, shared use practices in community organizations, and standards that encourage physical activity in Afterschool setting. Through a comprehensive approach, based on the socio-ecological model, we aim to better understand the role Extension can play in preventing obesity, particularly in low-income and minority communities in North Carolina.


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