Healthy Communities helps make downtown Mt. Pleasant safer for walkers and bikers

Written by on November 29, 2012 in News

Healthy Henry County Communities is pleased to announce that through collaboration with the City of Mt. Pleasant they were able to use grant money to purchase three timed LED pedestrian crosswalk signals for downtown Mt. Pleasant. The signals were installed recently along Washington Street at the intersections of Jefferson Street, Main Street and Adams Street. These new timed crosswalk signals will help improve the safety of those intersections for walkers and bikers. The installation timing coincides with the busy holiday season as more residents are walking downtown to do their holiday shopping.

Healthy Communities used money from a five-year Community Transformation Grant (CTG) aimed at increasing the cardiovascular health of all residents. Improving walkability and bike-ability throughout Henry County is a major focus of the grant. Work will continue in the spring with the improvement of Marion Street from Washington Street to the Aquatic Center providing a safe route for kids to travel. New trail signs for East Lake Park are also in the works. “Although we started working with Mt. Pleasant we hope to work with all of the communities in our county to improve walkability and bike-ability,” explains Lindsay Remick, CTG Coordinator. “We will continue to reach out to all communities over the next four years to identify projects that fit within our guidelines.”

In addition to improving sidewalks and trails, the CTG also focuses on worksite wellness; healthy eating in vending machines, convenience stores and restaurants; smoke-free multi-unit housing; chronic disease self-management and increased participation in preventive screenings. Restaurants are currently being contacted to offer an assessment by the Henry County Health Center Dietitian and incentives to help promote healthier items. “Our ultimate goal is to put in place policy and environmental changes that will be sustainable even after this grant ends,”Remick states.

Healthy Communities is working closely on this grant with Henry County Health Center and the Henry County Extension office, but also with new partners such as businesses and restaurants. “Healthy Communities has always been about bringing people together to achieve great things,” explains Kelly Carr, Healthy Communities Coordinator. “This grant builds upon that principle as we form new partnerships and work together to make Henry County a healthier place.”

The Community Transformation Grant is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Henry County is one of 26 counties receiving this grant through the Iowa Department of Public Health. For more information or to learn how you can be involved contact Lindsay Remick at 319-385-6595 or remickl@hchc.org.

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