For Community Members

1

Start or join a community garden.

Growing healthy food is an activity in which all ages can participate, and gardening is great exercise. You’ll be able to grow fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs to add to your meals.

Organize community events in the garden to educate and encourage neighborhood participation. Celebrate the year’s harvest with a community potluck.

2

Start a neighborhood walking group.

Walking has many health benefits such as weight loss, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and more. Start with short distances within the neighborhood or a nearby walking trail or park. The shared activity helps participants stick with it and stay motivated, and walking with your neighbors helps build a stronger sense of community!

3

Encourage healthy snacks and drinks at school and community events.

Speak up and suggest healthy bake sales, sporting event snacks, and party food. Promote drinking water and suggest limiting sugary drinks.

4

Advocate for improvements to make your community more walkable and bikeable.

Find out what your community needs to be healthier. Perhaps it’s a new playground, bike path, or sidewalks. Get others to help.

Organize a clean-up of a neighborhood park; speak out for sidewalks and safer streets. Talk with your aldermen, city council, or mayor about the things you think could improve the walkability and safety of your community.

5

Plan a healthy community event.

Help others be healthier by sharing your knowledge, passion, and encouragement. Educate and build awareness of the importance of healthy eating and physical activity by adding information and activities about nutrition and physical activity to community events and health fairs.

Invite experts from your local hospital or health unit to talk at your event.

For Community Leaders

1

Assemble your team.

Champion wellness as a priority and gather others who will help mobilize resources and sustain activities. Consider identifying a Wellness Champion and establishing a Wellness Council.

2

Find out which organizations can help.

3

Assess your current status.

Before making a plan you need to know where you’re starting from and establish a baseline to measure your success. This information will also help if you plan to seek funding to support your projects.

4

Find out what your community wants and needs.

What will help improve the quality of life for your community members? What will make it more desirable to industry? Survey your community to find out what their priorities are. Working closely with residents throughout the process will ensure they have a sense of ownership and pride in the improvement projects.

5

Develop an action plan.

Identify several community-wide activities or events that address your community’s priorities, choose one, and get started. Some examples:

  • Make sure city planning policies incorporate active transport and Complete Streets principles in their planning and design.
  • Explore joint use agreements with schools to provide more opportunities for physical activity in the community.
  • Encourage school and community gardens.