Local News

November 15, 2013

Volunteers from Osky needed for Blue Zones



Becoming a Blue Zones community requires:

· At least 20 percent of citizens to sign the Blue Zones Personal Pledge and complete one action

· At least 25 percent of public schools to become a Blue Zones School

· At least 50 percent of the top 20 community-identified employers to become a Blue Zones Worksite

· At least 25 percent of independently or locally owned restaurants to become a Blue Zones Restaurant

· At least 25 percent of grocery stores to become a Blue Zones Grocery Store

· Completion of the Blue Zones Community Policy Pledge

According to Sherry Vavra, Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation Director and a Blue Zones Volunteer, volunteer groups will play a major role in developing and carrying out the initiatives that will lead Oskaloosa down the path of becoming a certified Blue Zones community.

We have the Power 9 Team, which provides guidance in developing the community-wide improvement blueprint,” Vavra explained. “They will also serve to help break-down barriers and make connections with key people in the community to facilitate implementation of the blueprint. This volunteer committee is currently set.

We also have the Leadership Team, which plans and implements strategies or activities to improve well-being. As part of this team, we have Initiative Committees to focus on community policy, school policy, walking school buses, restaurant designation, grocery store designation, worksite designation, purpose workshops, volunteering, engagement and Moais, tasked with building teams of people exploring the community on foot or other healthy activities.”

Vavra and Collins both agree that a lot of work has already been done to form the framework for the Oskaloosa Blue Zones Project, but a lot more will be required.

We are very encouraged by the commitment of local business and community leaders, as well as our city,” Collins said. “We wouldn’t have been chosen as a Blue Zones Demonstration Site without it.

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