Twenty Alberta communities and individuals have been recognized as wellness champions by making the province a healthier place to live, through active living, healthy eating and overall community wellness.
Among the honourees recognized by the Communities ChooseWell program are:
- Longview for a policy passed by town council that stipulates that council will support non-profit programming, including healthy eating and active living programs, through donation of time at the community hall and in local parks.
- Vermilion for offering healthier food choices at the Vermilion Arena. Their new contract with the concession and vending operators stipulates that they will work towards offering 80 per cent ‘Choose Most Often’ and ‘Choose Sometimes’ foods.
- Lacombe is developing a policy that would require the city to provide nutritious food options at all events it hosts, and would also require ‘ChooseWell breaks’ during all city meetings. These breaks encourage participants to get up and get moving for a few minutes. The city has also passed a bylaw requiring new subdivisions to build trails that link up to the existing trail system and build a park or playground area.
- Sexsmith for providing opportunities for residents to learn more about healthy eating and active living, including a portable community garden project, walkability workshop, and a walk-to-school campaign.
- Morinville for its ‘What Have You Got To Lose’ program, which focuses on the first steps to getting active and offers tips of how to eat more nutritiously.
- Coronation for its annual fishing derby and community picnic, along with its healthy snack program at the school.
- Strathcona County for altering its preschool programming to focus on physical literacy and emphasize the value of social connections with a love to play.
- Alix for building a community garden through its Youth Leadership program, teaching children and youth in the community how to grow fresh produce and flowers, who planted all of the flower boxes down Main Street with different vegetables.
- Grande Cache for revitalizing its Griffith Trail, including making it stroller friendly.
- Drumheller’s St. Anthony’s School for promoting healthy living with many projects, including having fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to each class weekly, an outdoor play day and winter carnival, a lunchtime activity week, and an indoor growing tower where they grow fresh produce with hydroponics.
- Strathmore for hosting the 55-plus summer games, developing a disc golf course, and paving more walking paths.
For more on the program, an initiative of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, visit its website.