Oskaloosa Chosen for Blue Zones Project

Community members and Blue Zone Project Team members gathered at the Musco Technology Center on the William Penn University campus Tuesday.

Community members and Blue Zone Project Team members gathered at the Musco Technology Center on the William Penn University campus in November.

by CRI

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Oskaloosa has been selected to become a Blue Zones demonstration site. It’s part of Governor Terry Brandstad’s goal of making Iowa the healthiest state in the country.

“We are going to receive a significant number of resources, including national experts who will come and visit and help us. We are going to transform Oskaloosa into one of the healthiest places in the world”, says Dawn Collins with the Mahaska Wellness Coalition.

Representatives of Oskaloosa met with Brandstad Wednesday after he announced the chosen cities. The Blue Zones Project is sponsored by Wellmark and Healthways. It will provide staff members to help community leaders create programs for citizens to be more healthy and happy.

“Over the next year, we’ll be shadowing Muscatine, we’ll be gearing up, doing a lot of preparation work, but we’ll not officially start the certification process until January 2014”, says Collins.

A total of 6 demonstration communities were announced Wednesday. Those are Oskaloosa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Marion, Muscatine, and Sioux City. Those 6 will join 13 other cities that began the effort.

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