Staying active this year was challenging to say the least, but active living projects in Washington County are leading the way to improved access to parks and trails year round. There has been renewed interest in parks, trails and outdoor activities due to COVID-19 restrictions and limited access to health clubs and fitness classes.
Community stories about Living Healthy in Washington County.
South Washington County Schools, District #833, is the largest school district in Washington County. With over 2,500 employees that span over 26 building locations, South Washington County Schools wanted to ensure nursing mothers returning to work had access to the space and resources needed to continue breastfeeding.
Due to their longstanding success and Washington County’s history of partnership and collaboration with this group, the Washington County Board along with the Department of Public Health and Environment formally recognized this group at the Washington County Board meeting on February 11, 2020 and celebrated their many contributions to the community.
This summer, over two dozen child care providers across Washington County learned ways to keep children in their daycare active and focused, from the hottest days of summer to the frigid days of winter. Partnering with 1000 Petals, Living Healthy Washington County to offered child care providers the Move Mindfully® training.
In Spring 2019, two local organizations forged a partnership to build a community garden in a residential neighborhood in Woodbury. The community garden was built in the yard of a New Directions Inc. residential home, and is designed to be a resource to the home’s residents and the greater community.
Research shows a strong connection between student health and their success in school. Promoting healthy behavior in schools can help youth improve test scores, grades, and attendance. With support from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Living Healthy in Washington County is partnering with schools and districts to ensure all students have the opportunity to be healthy and successful.
On Sundays, community members can now shop for an array of produce and Minnesota goods at the new Newport Farmers Market. The market kicked off its first season on June 16 and will run through August 25. Located at the Newport Center, 1644 Hastings Ave, MN 55055, the market is open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In 2019, with funding through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, the City of Stillwater revitalized their employee fitness room. Previously it had rusty walls and pipes, stale air, and inadequate storage. With some improvements, the space was freshened up! A new coat of paint, ceiling fans, instructional posters, new storage racks and small exercise equipment made a big difference.
Washington County Public Health and Environment co-hosted an event with the Metro Food Access Network (MFAN) to showcase the important work happening in Washington County to increase access to healthy food for all residents. The event brought together over 100 individuals from healthcare, food shelves, farmers markets, nonprofits, government, and the community to learn about food access through an engaging panel of expert speakers and interactive food system stations.
Eating right is easier with healthy food options close at hand. That’s why Family Pathways recently transformed the way it showcases healthy foods at its Forest Lake Food Shelf, which serves over 7,000 individuals per year. The new design and layout encourages clients to make better choices by improving the visibility and presentation of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean proteins.
With women comprising 76% of the workforce, Forest Lake Area Schools wanted to ensure nursing mothers returning to work had access to the space and resources needed to continue breastfeeding. Initially, supports were only implemented in Anoka County schools, but within a year, Forest Lake Area Schools made a commitment to implement breastfeeding supports district-wide.
LHWC supports breastfeeding through two SHIP strategy areas – Health Care and Worksite Wellness. Measureable progress has been made in each of these areas to the great benefit of mothers, babies and families in the county.