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Recently, the City of Natchitoches received a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation. The Healthy Behaviors Program Grant funds projects which focus on healthy eating, active living, and prevention of tobacco and alcohol abuse. This grant is an important element that allows the Mayor to move forward in setting the tone for a healthy city. One aspect of the grant was creating the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council. Mayor Posey reached out to leadership from diverse backgrounds that have come together to seek solutions to improve the health of the city residents.
The Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council meets quarterly; in addition some small task forces will be formed to take action and accomplish goals that are specific, achievable, and timely. A resolution was approved by the City of Natchitoches City Council on April 10, 2017 appointing members to the Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council.
Receptive to change - We are working on long term solutions that will make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Educate and Implement - As a collective group, we develop and distribute information and services to improve health.
Accomplish Goals - We set goals in order to hold ourselves accountable and make long term change.
Data and Evaluation - We are utilizing and sharing data to understand the specific health needs of the community and will evaluate our projects for effectiveness.
Yield the Benefits - We want to celebrate success with our community and will offer events.
The Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council will utilize local health data to be more informed on their vision and priorities that will help them formulate specific committees, task forces, goals and events that will create a healthier City of Natchitoches.
Mayor Posey’s thoughts on being READY!
What is being done to our parks to make them READY?
Mayor Posey has taken an active role in renovations to many parks in different areas of Natchitoches. The renovations to Natchitoches’ downtown riverbank are underway and will include a boardwalk that will encourage our community to walk. New landscaping, signage, and playground equipment have been added to Ross Williams Park, Pierson & Mallet Park, Richardson Park, and City Park to improve their appearance and usability.
Why is this the perfect time to implement the Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council?
The renovations are making our park systems more READY for use, so this is a perfect time for the creation of the Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council, which will further encourage healthy living in Natchitoches.
Why is the Mayor motivated to upgrade parks?
“The City of Natchitoches has recently upgraded several parks in the community. It is important for me to establish a healthier community with a higher quality of living. Another factor is the driving force of economic development. New companies are more likely to invest and move into a community with these types of venues to offer to their employees.”
Mayor Posey’s personal story about health
“A native to Natchitoches, I grew up playing sports and have continued to keep some type of exercise program in my life throughout the years. By being active and staying healthy, I feel better and can continue daily activities as I get older. Through my personal passion for being active, I encourage the children and adults to stay active in our community by being an example and supporting park upgrades.”
Mayor Posey’s vision for Natchitoches’ health and fitness
“I envision a healthier Natchitoches for the future in which youth and adults exercise more by getting outdoors away from electronic distractions like iPads, phones, computers, etc. It is important the active members of the community get out and encourage all ages to go to our parks and exercise. Whether you exercise for fun or to relieve stress, together we can change Natchitoches into a healthier and happier place to live.”
Lisa Wiggins, the Librarian at NSU Elementary Lab School coordinates gardening education with her students.
Mrs. Wiggins’ says her efforts with the garden benefit her students, “because it teaches them an appreciation of where food comes from. In addition, gardening instills habits to promote healthy lifestyles and eating habits. Gardening is embedded into the core curriculum, to give real world experiences that make learning fun and meaningful.”