The Step ONE Program started in 2005 as a collaboration among the Hamilton County Health Department, the Hamilton County Mayor's Office, and the Hamilton County Regional Health Council. Our mission is to support and enhance long-term healthy lifestyles for all Hamilton County residents through innovative partnerships, policy, and education. 

Program Contacts:

Christopher Marinello, MS

Step ONE Public Health Representative


Renee Craig

Community Health Program Manager


Teaching Garden Grant Program

Each year, Step ONE awards grants to applicants throughout Hamilton County who are interested in starting Teaching Garden Programs in their communities.

 The vision of the Teaching Garden Grant Program is to: 

  • Create involvement and awareness to the connection between quality of diet and quality of health for children and their families.
  • Offer opportunities for people to learn valuable skills such as communication, responsibility, teamwork and leadership.

Since 2008, Step ONE has funded teaching gardens at elementary, middle, and high schools, community centers, childcare centers, churches, colleges, libraries and more. We encourage anyone with a vision for improving nutrition and gardening education to apply for a Teaching Garden Grant.

Now Accepting Applications! (August 7th -September 7th)

If you are interested in starting a teaching garden at your facility, please fill out the grant application below. Completed applications are due by September 7th, 2023. We will notify grantees of awards by late September and, at that time, will go over purchasing guidelines and the final report requirements.

Step ONE Teaching Garden Grant Application 2023-2024 English

Step ONE Teaching Garden Grant Application 2023-2024 Spanish

To schedule a free Little Sprouts Honey Bees program at your preschool or childcare center, contact Christopher Marinello at 423-209-8247 or

Little Sprouts Pre-K Program - Gardening: Step ONE developed the Little Sprouts Gardening lesson to encourage preschool-aged children to have a positive outlook on eating and growing fresh fruits and vegetables. Through activities such as “Good Bug, Bad Bug,” “The Garden Pokey,” and “Plant Parade,” students are introduced to the wonders and excitement of gardening. This 30-minute program is designed for children ages three to five and is available free of charge to any Hamilton County preschool or early childhood center.

To schedule a Little Sprouts Gardening program at your preschool or childcare center contact Christopher Marinello at 423-209-8247 or

School-Aged Healthy Eating/Active Living (HEAL) Outreach

Adult Healthy Eating/Active Living (HEAL) Outreach