ISHPEMING — Thanks to a foundation in Marquette County, a number of local groups will have a chance to work on some new projects.

The Western Marquette County Health Foundation awarded $24,000 in grants today to help those groups undertake their wellness–related projects.

“Ultimately we’re trying to incubate wonderful ideas,” said WMCHF Board Vice President Jeff Nyquist. “There’s lots of ideas out there, and lots of them start very grassroots, and so they need that extra nudge of support to get going.”

“They fit really well into the health and wellness,” said WMCHF Director Kori Tossava. “I mean, that’s a very broad term.”

The four groups will be using the funds to introduce a variety of initiatives into the community.

“Now we’ll have two farms. One right in downtown Ishpeming and one in West Ishpeming, and so they’ve been a sustaining provider for our foundation,” said Dan Perkins, Chairman of the Board for the Partridge Creek Farm.

“This will allow us to raise over 6,000 pounds of vegetables this year,” said Ray Bush, Farm Manager at the Partridge Creek Farm. “It essentially doubles our operating area. It allows us to concentrate on some row crops that we can’t do in raised beds and such.”

“We are going to host a dental day in spring of 2016,” said Nicole Klein, Secretary for the U.P. Area Health Education Center. “We’re going to offer free services for under-insured and uninsured adults, and we’re asking high school and college students that are interested in dental — if they want to learn a little bit more about what it’s like to work in those careers — we want them to come out and join us for the day. It really helps us out to be able to fund the day entirely.”

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger Counties and Teaching Family Homes were the remaining groups to receive funding. They will be working on a specialized service project for young males and a high ropes course project respectively.