Oskaloosa Becomes Certified Blue Zones Community

Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner address attendees to the Oskaloosa Blue Zone kick-off event.

Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner address attendees to the Oskaloosa Blue Zone kick-off event.

The hard work of many has paid off – Oskaloosa is the latest city in Iowa to become a certified Blue Zones Community. The local leadership team was notified last week that Oskaloosa has met all qualifications during its 18-month demonstration period.

“It took a tremendous amount of effort by so many community members for us to reach this important goal,” said Dave Krutzfeldt, mayor of Oskaloosa.

Certification required meeting several milestones, such as 20% of the community pledging to support the program, as well as 50% of Oskaloosa’s largest worksites and 25% of schools, restaurants and grocery stores adopting Blue Zones policies.

As a certified Blue Zones community, Oskaloosa will continue to work on promoting well-being initiatives, says Amy Langdon, co-chair of Blue Zones Project Oskaloosa Leadership Team.

“We’ve got a great volunteer team lined up to make sure we don’t lose any momentum,” said Langdon. “We want to make sure we continue to grow with more businesses making health a priority, more restaurants providing more healthy options, and more community initiatives that promote more active lifestyles.”

Blue Zones Project encourages communities to make the healthy choice the easy choice. It is based on the series of initiatives outlined in Dan Buettner’s best-selling book analyzing communities around the globe where residents live happy, healthy and long lives. The project, sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, was brought to Iowa as the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative.

Some of Oskaloosa’s accomplishments include increasing community garden and farmer’s market usage, getting a bicycle and pedestrian master plan approved by city council, and getting healthier options on the menu at several local restaurants.

“The past 18 months have been phenomenal in showing us what we could do when we come together to focus on health,” said Langdon. “And we’re just getting started.”

Posted by on Aug 4 2015. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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