It’s a unique opportunity for the community.
On Oct. 30, members of the Blue Zones Team will visit Oskaloosa for a site visit at the Musco Technology Center from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Dawn Collins, executive director of the Mahaska County YMCA and member of the Mahaska Wellness Coalition, said a big part of the site visit will be demonstrating why Oskaloosa should be a Blue Zones Project demonstration site.
“We need to show that our stake holders and our community leaders are committed and that we want to improve community health using the Blue Zones principles,” said Collins, adding that its also important to show that it is possible to create sustainable environmental change in the area.
Collins said the Mahaska Wellness Coalition is helping organize community leaders to make a presentation to the Blue Zones Project Team on the area’s readiness to be a Blue Zones Project Demonstration site. School, business and city policy leaders are being looked at for this effort.
“Those are the three biggest areas wherein we will create environmental change and we need their support for this project so it’s critical that we show their support,” explained Collins.
Collins said demonstration sites are being selected throughout Iowa. Resources and experts will be a part of these demonstration sites as a way to create change, said Collins.
Should Oskaloosa become a demonstration site, there would then be a several month long period after which Oskaloosa could become a certified Blue Zone, said Collins. She said during this demonstration period specific goals would have to be met by major employers, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and within city policy. Some of these things have already been started, added Collins.
The Blue Zones Project carries with it principles to help people not only improve their health, but improve social and spiritual aspects of their lives, Collins said. She noted that events like Friday After Five, Art on the Square and Sweet Corn Serenade point to Oskaloosa’s focus on having a sense of community.
“Oskaloosa already recognizes that the sense of community and belonging is critical,” Collins said.
Collins said there is a need for health improvements in Oskaloosa and Mahaska County and said that is why the area needs the Blue Zones Project here. She cited statistics from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, which notes that 11 percent of Mahaska County is in “poor or fair health.”
Gov. Terry Branstad started the Healthiest State initiative last year, said Collins. The Blue Zones Project was introduced with this initiative. The Mahaska Wellness Coalition was created at this time, added Collins.
Mahaska Wellness Coalition would go on to organize the 100 Day Wellness Challenge through Live Healthy Iowa, said Collins. Approximately 11 percent of the community participated in this effort.
Those interested in attending the Blue Zones Project site visit can RSVP with Diane Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 25.
To learn more about the Blue Zones Project, visit www.bluezonesproject.com or contact Collins at 673-8411.
It’s a unique opportunity for the community.
- CNHI/Southeast Iowa
Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston
A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.
Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive
The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.
Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research
Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.
Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock
Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.
Can black women have it all?
In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.
- Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach
Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir
Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history. Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.
'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead
Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.
Fast food comes to standstill in China
The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country
Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran
Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.
- More CNHI/Southeast Iowa Headlines
- Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston