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Creating Healthy Places

Funded by the New York State Department of Health

The Health Planning Council, a program of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County was successful in securing funding for Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. The Human Services Coalition is the lead agency; our key partners are the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and the Health Promotion Program of the Tompkins County Health Department.

Purpose: The NYS Department of Health's (DOH) Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention to help reduce obesity and prevent type 2 diabetes by changing the environment to support:

• Increase physical activity
• Increase consumption of healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.

Two focus communities - City of Ithaca (downtown Flats) and Town of Dryden in the first two years of the grant. The core areas of work and specific strategies are summarized below.

  1. Environmental approaches that increase places for residents to be physically active, such as promoting the use of neighborhood or community trails (Waterfront trail and the Dryden Lake trail), and promoting parks and recreation facilities in underserved areas to offer safe, accessible and attractive opportunities for physical activity for persons of all ages and abilities.

  2. Creating a community landscape conducive to physical activity by improving accessibility and proximity of residential areas to recreation areas. This can be done by enhancing the connectivity and continuity of sidewalks and streets, increasing aesthetic qualities, and improving safety aspects of physical environments to create physical activity opportunities.

  3. Increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables through the creation of community gardens, promoting the use of farmers markets, and implementing innovative strategies to increase the access of healthy foods in high need areas.

  4. Increasing the healthful quality of foods offered for sale such as working with local restaurants and stores to add healthier items.

The Health Planning Council was awarded funding to assist worksites with developing or enhancing employee wellness programs (more).

Community Awareness:

• Increase awareness of and support for policy and environmental change for the reduction of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity and diabetes have been identified as public health issues that reduce the quality of life, increase health care costs, and impact productivity in the work place. It has been established that poor nutrition and physical inactivity (major factors in these two diseases) can be addressed by lifestyle changes facilitated by supportive community, social and physical environments.

For more information, please contact

Victoria Armstrong, Interim Coordinator

607.273.8686 | VArmstrong@hsctc.org