2018 Summer Challenges and Events

This summer the Forest County Coalition on Activity and Nutrition (CAN!) is sponsoring three challenges to Forest County residents and visitors to the area.  Our 2nd annual 100 Mile challenge, challenges you to walk, run, or stroll 100 miles between June 1st and August 31st, can be logged on our walking challenge log, which is available to download at www.forestcountycan.org.  Those who complete 100 miles or more will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card and will also be added to our 100 Mile Club list of all people who completed the challenge.

This year, we’ve also added a physical activity challenge which allows anyone, at any fitness level, to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.  Children and young people are encouraged to aim higher by spending at least 60 minutes per day being physically active.

The physical activity challenge is a great way to get active by picking any activity that fits into your lifestyle:  gardening, walking the dog, weightlifting, biking, yoga or playing a game of pickleball.  The physical activity challenge log can also be downloaded at www.forestcountycan.org.

Finally, don’t forget about our Geocache challenge that combines treasure hunting, Forest County trails and technology.   The first 50 participants that complete the challenge and turn in their log sheet will receive a goody bag of local prizes including a wooden key chain designed and fabricated by students in the Wabeno School District’s fab lab (pictured below). 

Together our coalition hopes to promote active lifestyles to both residents and summer visitors to Forest County. Challenge yourself and invite a friend to join with you.

Follow us on Facebook or visit our website for group meet ups, tips for new places to walk, and additional geocaching hints and tips.

For more information about the Forest County CAN coalition, please call the Forest County Health Department at 715-478-3371 or visit our website at www.forestcountycan.org

Click on each of the links below for a printable version. 

100 Mile Challenge Tracking Log 

Physical Activity Challenge Tracking Log 

Geocache Challenge Brochure 

Otter Springs Nature Day Poster

2nd Annual Garden Walk Poster

Family Outdoor Movie Night

Cardinal Park, Crandon 

Friday, July 6th 

Pickle ball, tennis, and other games will be available starting at 7:00 pm. The movie, “The Sandlot” will begin at dusk. There will be concessions available for purchase to help support park improvements.


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As temperatures rise this summer, remember to keep your cool!

Forest County Public Health Department is reminding residents to take steps to stay cool this summer.

 “People can get sick from the heat even on mild days in the low 80s,” said Jill Krueger, Director for Forest County Public Health Department.  “As we head into the summer months, it’s important to stay cool, hydrated, and informed.”

From 2013-2017, there were 3,548 visits to Wisconsin emergency departments for heat-related illness, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  These trips to the emergency room are preventable when people are prepared.  Follow these tips to stay safe during extreme heat:

  • Stay in air conditioning. When possible, stay in air conditioning on hot days.  If you don’t have air conditioning, head to libraries, malls, and other public spaces to keep cool.
  • Check on loved ones. Be sure to check on older friends and neighbors who live alone and don’t have air conditioning.
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, stick to the cooler morning and evening hours.  Wear light, loose clothing and take frequent, air conditioned breaks.
  • Beware of hot cars. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time.  On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on hot days. Avoid alcohol and hot, heavy meals.
  • Stay informed. Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan outdoor activities safely. Pay attention to any extreme heat alerts.

If you start feeling overheated, weak, dizzy, nauseated, or have muscle cramps, you could be experiencing heat illness.  Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths.  If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, go to the emergency room.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ heat safety webpage and watch their heat safety video.

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Life Jacket Loaner Stations Set Up at Local Lakes for 2nd Consecutive Year

Three Life Jacket Loaner Stations have again been put up at local lakes in Forest County. These are stations where people can borrow life jackets free of charge to use while boating or swimming and return when finished. Life jackets are available in all sizes from infant through adult.  

The locations of the stations are: Silver Lake Beach in Laona, Crandon City Beach on Lake Metonga, and Veteran’s Memorial Park on Lake Metonga.

Wisconsin state law requires there to be one flotation device per person in each vessel. The hope is that these Life Jacket Loaner Stations will encourage compliance with state law as well as promote safe swimming.

This project was successfully completed in 2017 with the help of our partners: The Forest County Association of Lakes, Lake Metonga Association, Silver Lake Association, Crandon Lion’s Club, Laona Lion’s Club, City of Crandon, Town of Laona, Forest County Forestry and Parks Department, and K2Pro Signs.

Throughout the 2017 swimming and boating season it was evident that the life jackets were being used by the general public. The Forest County Health Department received positive feedback on the success of the Life Jacket Loaner Stations promoting safety on the water for boaters and swimmers alike.

If you have any questions about setting up a Life Jacket Loaner Station, please feel free to call us at 715-478-3371.


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May is Mental Health Month

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It is important to remember that mental health is important to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

So much of what we do physically affects us mentally. That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month – Fitness #4Mind4Body.  The focus is to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help achieve overall wellness and set                                                                  you on a path to recovery.

May is Mental Health Month and we are focusing on how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the beginning of or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.

It is important to look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to reach wellness. Exercising, eating healthy foods that can help your gut health, getting enough sleep, and lowering stress are all extremely important. It’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body. Living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but work on making small changes and build on you successes.

Remember that mental health concerns are common and treatable.  Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.  If in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Human Service Center of Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Crisis Line 1-888-299-1188.

For more information on Mental Health Month and information on exercise, diet and nutrition, gut health, sleep, and stress management, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties are working together to decrease suicide. We have been providing Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention trainings throughout our communities. QPR trainings teach people how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to get help. If you would like to host a training, please contact Jacee Anderson (Forest County) at 715-478-3371 or Tammi Boers (Oneida and Vilas County) at 715-479-3757.


Suicide Prevention Resources

  • Human Service Center Crisis line 1-888-299-1188
  • HopeLine Text Service- Text HOPELINE to 741 741
  • Crisis bed @ Koinonia – Rhinelander 715-362-5745
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • DVSA Crisis line 1-800-236-1222
  • LGBTQ Crisis Line 1-866-488-7386
  • Teen Line 310-855-4673 or Text TEEN to 839863
  • Local shelters
  • Local Emergency Rooms/crisis screeners
  • Local NAMI chapter – Rhinelander www.nami.org
  • Ministry Behavioral Health – on call provider during business hours
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National Infant Immunization Week!

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 21-28, 2018. Each year, NIIW highlights immunization achievements and the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that routine immunization of children born between 1994 and 2016 will prevent an estimated 381 million illnesses, 24.5 million hospitalizations, and 855,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $360 billion in direct costs and $1.65 trillion in total societal costs.

During NIIW, communities across the United States will celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting the health of our children, families, and communities. Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles.

During NIIW, the Forest County Health Department encourages you to make sure your child is up to date on vaccines by taking CDC’s childhood vaccine quiz, reviewing the 2018 easy-to-read immunization schedule, and talking to your child’s doctor. If you’re pregnant, now is a great time to find a doctor for your baby and schedule a visit to discuss any questions you have about vaccines. NIIW is also the perfect time to learn more about vaccines and the diseases they prevent by visiting credible websites, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine website for parents.

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