Red Wing works together to be healthy and happy in 2012Neighborhood walking and biking routes, nature trails, youth gardens, and food rescue — these are the areas Live Healthy Red Wing will be working on with the community over the next three years.
By: Michelle Leise, The Republican Eagle
Neighborhood walking and biking routes, nature trails, youth gardens, and food rescue — these are the areas Live Healthy Red Wing will be working on with the community over the next three years.
“Our mission is to make it easier for each person in Red Wing to get active and eat healthy every day,” said Pam Horlitz, LHRW co-chair and Fairview Red Wing Medical Center Business and Community Development coordinator. “By improving these four areas locally, we believe more adults will be able to fit nutrition and activity into their busy lives, and more of our children will learn healthy habits.”
LHRW focuses on making sustainable improvements though changes to policies and Red Wing’s physical surroundings.
“If you have a nature trail near your home, there’s a better chance you’ll use it. If a child learns about gardening or eats fresh fruit when she’s young, she’s more likely to eat healthier as an adult,” said Dave Borgen, LHRW member and Community Recreation program coordinator. “It’s all about habits and those little choices we make every day.”
LHRW is partnering with the city, schools, businesses, foundations, and individuals on a number of initiatives. The group says by the end of 2014, Red Wing aims to be one of the top-rated outdoor living towns in Minnesota.
LHRW is looking for community members of all ages to get involved. Consider helping on any of the following projects.
• Creating signed neighborhood walking routes (with mileage) and linking them to destinations such as downtown and neighborhood nature trails.
• Improving safe routes to school and promoting walking and biking to school.
• Growing an advocacy group that represents the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists when city roads are reconstructed or built.
• Building a network in which 75 percent of residents will live within a 15-minute walk to a nature trail from their work or home front door
• Improving and signing bluff trail systems so they’re signed, safe, and accessible to more neighborhoods.
• Forming Friends of the Bluffs, a sustainable organization that will help maintain and fund local trails into the future.
• Increasing the number of networks in which fresh fruits and vegetables near their expiration date are collected from local grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, and convenience stores and given to children in the Red Wing school district to eat before or after school.
• Developing and expanding gardens at schools, daycares, after-school programs, or other organizations that teach children and/or teens about fresh food.
Michelle Leise is project coordinator of Live Healthy Red Wing.