HSC Awarded Active Living Workshop

Health by Design and the Indiana State Department of Health have announced the recipients of the competitive application for Active Living Workshops.  Healthy Shelby County is one of 10 communities chosen to host a workshop for community leaders and shareholders to learn how the built environment influences the health and wellness of  our residents.

Zia Brucaya, Indiana Complete Streets Coalition Coordinator with Health by Design stated, “We received 25 applications, which showed us that communities are really starting to think seriously about health and active transportation.  With a limited number of spots, however, this made our decision-making process quite difficult.”  Communities awarded an Active Living Workshop demonstrated a strong interest in active living, a desire and the capacity to improve the built environment in a sustainable manner, and multi-sector support.

“We are thrilled about being able to bring this workshop to our community!” said Denise Holland, Coordinator of Healthy Shelby County, “Community health is really the interconnection of a healthy environment, healthy economy, and healthy people.  The Active Living Workshop will provide practical tools and ideas to help us build a healthier community for all of our residents and for the vitality of our community’s economic development.”

Studies show that the built environment – things like walking and biking paths and the connectivity of sidewalks – strongly influence not only how healthy a community is, but also how likable it is to both its current and prospective residents. “This is an exciting opportunity and really reflects the positive efforts of Healthy Shelby County, and other organizations in our community,” stated Erin Slevin, local coalition member, and advisor for healthy communities work in Indiana.

One of the initiatives improving the built environment is the Blue River Trails project.  Mayor Tom DeBaun’s office (http://www.shelbyvillecityvoice.com) just announced that the Indiana Department of Transportation has awarded the Blue River Trails project $2,105,600.00 to develop pedestrian – bicycle trails along the Big and Little Blue Rivers.  This trail system will connect the city’s parks and lead into the downtown Public Square.  “The Active Living Workshop will bring awareness and momentum in support of the pedestrian – bicycle trails and other quality of life initiatives in the community,” stated Mayor DeBaun.

Healthy Shelby County is launching a leadership council this month to provide an opportunity for community leaders and shareholders to learn about what really works to improve community health and how these evidence-based practices can work in Shelby County.  The Active Living Workshop, scheduled for May 2015, will coordinate with the quarterly leadership council meetings.

Other Indiana communities who were chosen to host an Active Living Workshop include cities of Batesville, Decatur, Frankfort, Madison, Rensselaer, and Bloomington and the counties of Madison, Tippecanoe, and Warren.

The Healthy Shelby County coalition meets the 4th Friday of each month and is open to any interested person.  For more information, Holland may be contacted at [email protected].   Community health information and resources may be found on the Healthy Shelby County website:  http://www.healthyshelbycounty.org. More information about Health by Design may be found at http://www.healthbydesignonline.org.

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