Eagan, Minn. (July 26, 2012) — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the cities of Bloomington, Edina and Richfield celebrated “do.town Day” Thursday.
The event draws attention to their collective work to engage community members in a unique collaboration to create sustainable policy changes that promote active living and healthy eating in these cities.
As part of do.town Day, a flash mob was held in each of the three cities within a 24 hour time span. Parents boogied at the Mall of America in Bloomington, senior citizens raised the roof at Lunds in Richfield and city officials got their groove on at a city council meeting in Edina. The goal was to show that there are many opportunities to incorporate moving more and eating better into one’s everyday routines.
“We know that when the healthy choice is the easy choice people will take it, but they need to first have that option,” says Katherine Bass, Blue Cross project manager and do.town spokesperson. “This project is about giving residents the opportunity to get involved in creating a healthier community.”
The 18-month pilot project is currently at a half way point and communities are already seeing great successes. Residents are sharing their ideas for healthier items at public concession stands, voicing support for walking and biking facilities near schools and parks and visiting the farmers markets, some for the first time.
“do.town is a great opportunity for people to show pride in their community and make it a healthier, happier place to live,” says Bass. “Small changes over time in individuals and communities can have a lasting impact on making healthy choices the norm.”
do.town Day also kicked off several new initiatives, including do.town ideas, a new interactive idea sharing feature at www.do-town.org, where residents can submit their own ideas to create healthy communities and vote for others they like.
An online complement to chalkboards that appear around each city, do.town ideas asks people to answer the question, “What does a healthier community look like?” In addition, “do.town supporter” lawn signs are also now available for posting in the three communities; for details, contact[email protected].
Finally, the do.town organizers are reaching out to residents at a number of community events such as the upcoming National Night Out/Night to Unite events. Residents can visit do-town.org to sign up to get involved or receive updates.