By Jackson in Action Coalition Leadership Team Member Nicole Schweitzer
Members of the Jackson in Action Coalition have been meeting with key community members to see what opportunities there are to make it easier and safer for community members of all ages to be active.
Using a tool developed by the Department of Health Services Division of Public Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Program a preliminary audit was conducted to assess the Black River Falls Community. Components of the tool looked at roadways, park access, recreational facilities, community programs, safety issues such as signage, sidewalk maintenance, traffic patterns, and neighborhood design.
There are a number of important features of built environments such as sidewalks, roadways, and parks that can have a positive impact on physical activity. An activity friendly environment is a place that makes it easy to be physically active on a routine basis. Active Community Environments are communities where it is easy for people of all ages and abilities to make the choice to be physically active, through planned exercise or routine daily activity. This means being able to easily walk or bike to nearby destinations such as stores, schools, parks, as well as enjoy recreational opportunities in the community.
Team members will be conducting a walk/bike audit in the upcoming months to look at community strengths and areas in need of improvement. Their findings will be shared with key decision makers to create awareness and where feasible a plan for improvement. For more information please contact the Jackson in Action Coalition at 715-284-6012 and review walking trails, fitness events and resources on our website: www.jacksoninaction.org.