Since 2009, the Healthy Communities Research Group (GP RED, GreenPlay, Design Concepts, along with other key academic and community partners) has been working together to develop and test the Healthy Communities Surveillance and Management Toolkit Project. This project identifies and targets the community aspects that influence obesity and active living, specifically focusing on policies, funding, physical assets, programs and services that influence health and fitness levels of youth ages 10 – 14 years. This is the age where youth start to become independent in their lifestyle choices. Studies show that if a child is overweight or obese at this age, they are 80% likely to be overweight or obese as an adult, and 80% of those adults will produce overweight or obese children. If not addressed, this trend can drastically negatively impact the overall health and the economy in a community.
An initial "Alpha Site" test project was successfully developed in Bloomington IN, and the methods are now being integrated and applied to "Beta Site" communities in Liberty, MO and South Bend, IN, and around the Country for additional refinement and implementation over the next three years. Arlington Heights has been selected as a community Beta Site, and the Park District is leading the way.
The Toolkit helps assess, analyze, document, and evaluate elements related to aligning parks and recreation as a catalyst for enhancing community health. Through working with partners and collaborators such as Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Northwest Community Healthcare, Arlington Heights Park District Parks Foundation, Wheeling Community Consolidated School District #21, Prospect Heights School District #23, Arlington Heights School District #25, Village of Arlington Heights and the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce Wellness Committee, the process creates analysis, and then moves to creating strategic concepts for improvement, future modeling and surveillance of outcomes over time. It also helps the District and stakeholders decide where to put funding to get the best effect.
For more information, contact Brian Meyer
, Director of Recreation and Facilities at 847-506-7130.
Mission: The Arlington Heights Park District enriches the community by providing quality recreation, facilities and fun.