Profile of the Week: Strong Women

Strong Women

The primary objective of the StrongWomen™ Program is to help communities nationwide to implement safe and  effective strength training programs for midlife and older women.

Women begin to show decline in muscle mass beginning at age 30 and if this condition is not reversed, women will have reduced strength and other severe consequences as they age. Women need to maintain a healthy level of muscle mass at all ages for optimal health through weight lifting two or more times per week,  but only 17.5% of women meet these recommendations. The Strong Women program, developed by Tufts University, is designed for women to increase muscle strength by strength training for 2-3 sessions per week for fourteen weeks. This strength training program is now being offered through MSU Extension offices in Montana, and the results have been inspiring.  Participation, improved functional strength and balance, and a strong sense of camaraderie and achievement are positive outcomes for Montana’s rural women. These trainings are conducted by Extension educators who have been certified to teach Strong Women programs.

About Strong Women:
The StrongWomen™  program is an evidence-based strength training program developed by the staff of  the Hancock Center at the Friedman School at Tufts University. The primary objective of the StrongWomen™ Program is to help communities nationwide to implement safe and  effective strength training programs for midlife and older women.

Who should attend trainings:
* Professional and community leaders who are working with a non-profit and are interested in the fields of public health, nutrition and exercise or wellness should attend.

* Potential program leaders should be regularly lifting weights/strength training, be in good physical health, and be able to collaborate with local agencies or organizations to provide the Strong Women program in their community.


For a list of all locations and contact information, click here


Browning Community Garden

The Browning Community Garden and its partner organizations Blackfeet Manpower VISTA and Blackfeet Academy have been working together for the past 4 years to develop and sustain a community garden for those in the Browning area.

Since this community garden project began four years ago, several different classes ranging from second graders to high school students have participated in various stages of the project. Along with the help of Global Volunteers and the Montana Conservation Corps a compost pile was started and the garden tended to produce several bountiful harvests. Each harvest has been donated to the local food bank whose workers were delighted by the contributions.023

The Browning Community Garden  is part of a community park. The surrounding area has been converted into a more open public place in hopes of increasing the utilization of the garden and creating a more enriching space for the community. Half of the community garden is rented out to community members who want to do their own gardening. The other half is communal. It is used for school and community educational programs, special events and a summer day camp for late elementary and middle school students lead by an Energy Corps member. Every year portions of the garden’s harvest have been donated to the food bank with the remaining veggies going tot he students that help tend the garden. Raised beds have been included in the garden with the hopes of encouraging elderly community members to join in the fun of gardening and not be limited by accessibility challenges.302

The goals of the Browning Community Garden include harvesting 20 plots with the aid of 7-10 students who complete a summer camp focused on building a better future for the garden and themselves. Another goal of the garden is to foster a community gathering atmosphere where students from different generations can come and share their stories and experiences about growing up in Browning. The third goal of the community garden is to encourage interaction and foster relationships between community members of all ages. By involving the elderly community members they hope to build upon a tradition that is being lost; giving elders a chance to share their stores of traditional life and the history of the community and the tribe.Carnival! 027


Contact: Elva Dorsey

Cut Bank’s Walking/Bike Trail Study

The Walking/Bike Trail Study in Cut Bank is underway and has submitted their findings and results of the project thus far. The Walking/Bike Trail Study was a 2011 Incubator Mini Grant Project and has not concluded yet, so check back later for more updates on the project’s progress.

To sum up the project, this study was meant “To perform a feasibility study on a walking/bike trail in the Cut Bank area,” reaching a target population of 3,000 people.

So far, they have found that a Walking/Bike Trail in the Cut Bank area is feasible through grants, donations and local volunteer efforts. Partner organizations include: City of Cut Bank, Glacier County, Blackfeet Tribe, Glacier Electric Co-Op, NCI Engineering, Mountainview Energy Ltd., Frontline Ag, Sweetgrass Development, Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce, and Peterson, Peterson, and Shors.

A Cut Bank Trails committee was formed in the spring of 2011 with the purpose of creating a walking/bike trail in the Cut Bank area. This trail would provide outdoor recreational opportunity, thus enhancing the quality of life in the community, and would provide pedestrian access to many of the other recreational/community facilities Cut Bank has to offer. The committee has since incorporated as Cut Bank Trails, Inc. and is in the final stages of attaining its official nonprofit status (501(c)3). It was determined that a feasibility study was needed to get the project off the ground. In the fall of 2011, NCI Engineering was hired to perform the study and to develop a master plan for the project. NCI’s Lyle Meeks, a charter member of the River’s Edge Train in Great Falls has been working with Cut Bank Trails, Inc and the City of Cut Bank, throughout the past year to develop the master plan and to bring the feasibility study to completion. RHI Incubator funds will be used to help offset the costs of this study. The total cost will be $22,000, with RHI providing $2,000 to be applied toward this total.

For questions or to request more information about Cut Bank’s Walking/Bike Trail, please contact:

 Wade Swenson

313 14th Ave SE, Cut Bank, MT 59427

Phone: 406.845.4234