Opinion

Fostering wellness in Marysville

It’s getting easier to be fit and healthy in Marysville. The city of Marysville, in partnership with schools, businesses, health care, nonprofit and community leaders in an effort to fight obesity and related chronic diseases have created The Marysville Healthy Communities Project Action Plan.

Healthy Communities is the blueprint for Marysville to become a healthier community. The project focuses on: urban planning to create recreational environments; the promotion of healthier food; and the creation and promotion of low- or no-cost recreational opportunities for all community members. As members of this community, I thought you’d enjoy knowing more about the project and consider taking part in the transformation of our city.

The first priority of the project is to increase number of active community environments available through careful urban planning and development. Networks of streets, pathways, parks and trails that support walking and biking within and between Marysville neighborhoods, city centers, schools, and senior centers are either completed, or being considered. As an example, Cedar Street has gone from four lanes to two lanes to accommodate biking paths, and there are additional plans to increase non-motorized transportation access around the city.

The second priority of the project is to improve access to healthier food by: Increasing Marysville Food Bank participants’ access to fruits and vegetables; increasing the number of eligible students participating in the Marysville School District free/reduced breakfast and lunch program; and establishing community gardens to make fresh, local produce more readily available. Some of these goals are already being met. For example, on Sunday, Aug. 30, community residents and members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church celebrated the opening of the Marysville’s Community Garden Project on the Wilcox Property off of 67th Street.

The third priority is to increase the number low-cost or free recreational opportunities for all Marysville citizens. This will be done by establishing intramural sports programs in schools and worksites, increasing community members’ use of public facilities, and by increasing opportunities for play by building “activity courses” and covered recreation facilities. Through these efforts, Marysville citizens are already able to enjoy a new “activity course”. The Northpointe Community Fitness Trail, which boarders the 28-acre-Northpointe Park, is a 1.6 mile walking trail, and features a six-station outdoor exercise equipment circuit. The installation of the fitness equipment will be completed by Sept. 18.

To learn more about this project, its programs, or to volunteer on a committee, visit the Healthy Community’s Web site: http://marysvillewa.gov/index.htm?HealthyCommunities/index or contact Jim Ballew at JBallew@marysvillewa.gov.

There’s no better time than now to help your neighbors live happier and healthier lives, and the Healthy Community Project is a major step in the right direction for Marysville and the wellness of its citizens. The committees behind this project deserve praise, as they have been organized, efficient and successful in their efforts. I urge you to visit one of these aforementioned places, or to become involved in this meaningful project. As always, if you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. I enjoy hearing from readers.

Angie Gooding is an educator and a personal trainer certified through ACE (American Council on Exercise) and owner of Inspire Fitness & Training. She lives locally, and trains clients in a private location in Marysville. She can be reached at AngieGooding@comcast.net or at www.inspirefitnessandtraining.com.

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