Healthy and safe environments are critical for communities to flourish. Residents need access to safe places to walk, bike, and play as well as access to healthy, affordable food in order to live healthy lives. Obesity affects all ages in DuPage County, underscoring the need for early intervention at the municipal level as well as sustainable, comprehensive changes is critical as an umbrella for all other institutions in a community.
The built environment can create barriers and can impact access to fitness opportunities and affordable, healthy food. Achieving greater livability through land use and housing, expanding and improving parks and open space, and promoting sustainable local food are also areas that have a strong influence on healthy lifestyles.
On a regular basis, FORWARD DuPage brings together leaders from various DuPage County communities and well as key stakeholders in land use, planning and transportation to learn and share about resources, policies and efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for residents. Ideally, we would like all 33 municipalities to be engaged. The goal of the meetings are to share best practices and inspire leaders to implement successful strategies. Ideas such as improved bikeways, expansions in the DuPage Trail System, educating residents on access to farmers markets and promoting more access to locally grown foods, how to start a community or school garden and increasing access for families in healthy local recreation and nature are topics of discussion.
Recommendations to help your municipality take action:
-Join Let's Move! Mayors & Elected Officials.
-Participate in the activities listed for US Department of Transportation's Mayors' Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets.
-Promote DuMore in DuPage, DuPage County Convention & Visitor Bureau's new initiative emphasizing the numerous healthy opportunities available for both visitors and residents.
-Promote and use DuPage Forest Preserve's 145 mile trail system.
-Stay up to date on local farmer's markets list by the DuPage County Farm Bureau.
For a list of more helpful healthy municipality resources click here. Need help getting started or want more details on the next steps? Contact FORWARD DuPage.