Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
The American Heart Association (AHA) launched an online community yesterday, July 30. The Garden Community seeks to encourage Americans to include fruit and vegetables in their everyday diet through gardening.
Through this new online initiative, individuals, schools, communities or other groups throughout the country who are either already gardening or who are interested in learning about gardening can come together to easily connect with others and learn and share best practices, resources, ideas and other information.
AHA is hopes this will be a collaborative place for leaders to work together and explore ways to support one another in making gardens and fresh food accessible for all. “We see the Garden Community as an expansion of our AHA Teaching Garden program which currently reaches 270 elementary schools across the country,” said Natashia Doolittle, Associate Manager of Kid’s Market and Healthy Living Strategies at AHA--and a PreventObesity.net Leader. “The Garden Community is intended to include and engage our Teaching Garden schools but to also reach much further – bringing together other school gardeners or garden programs, community gardens, agricultural/horticultural experts and even home gardeners.“
Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese, and fewer than one in 10 high school students receive the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, according to the AHA Garden Community website. “Research shows that children who grow vegetables may be more likely to eat them and that individuals who participate in community gardens eat more fruits and vegetables,” Doolittle said. “By moving a significant number of Americans toward a higher consumption level of fruits and vegetables by 2020, the Garden Community will contribute to lowering obesity rates and improving the overall health of all Americans.”
To find out how you can become a part of this new online gardening community, see the American Heart Association Garden Community website here.
See Flickr Creative Commons License here.
Two new complete streets and equity reports have been released and are the result of a project to study equity elements in complete streets policies, the characteristics of communities with equity elements in their policies, and to qualitatively understand how equity elements in complete streets policies are being implemented in practice. Learn more about the reports here.
Eight applicants have been awarded funds that will help young students walk, bike and roll safely to and from school.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.