BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – Blue Springs continues its innovative nationally-recognized work as a Let’s Move! Community through the first Let’s Move! Citizen Summit. The Summit is open to all citizens and will be held Saturday, June 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Freshman Center, 2103 NW Vesper Street, Blue Springs, MO. Blue Springs is taking the next step toward building generations of healthy citizens through the first of two community-wide citizen summits. These summits are designed to involve and engage all Blue Springs citizens from across the community in idea generation and action planning/implementation directed at making Blue Springs a healthier community now and for the future.
StandUp Blue Springs is facilitating these Summits, in conjunction with the City of Blue Springs and more than 10 other local community partners. These Citizen Summits are a critical step in developing a comprehensive, citizen-generated community plan to build generations of healthy citizens. Each Summit will engage residents of all ages to come together and brainstorm new and innovative ideas that will promote healthier lifestyles through physical activity, healthy eating, and new programs or amenities; and then provide citizens with the training, skills, and the “toolkit” to turn those ideas into reality.
“I encourage all resident to join us for the Let’s Move! Citizen Summits,” said Mayor Carson Ross. “This is a community-wide effort and we need your ideas and input to help us solve the problem of childhood obesity in our community. This is an ambitious goal, but by joining together, I am confident we can do it.”
StandUp Blue Springs recently facilitated two Let’s Move! Summits involving key stakeholders in the community to identify more than 50 existing programs and services that could be enhanced or expanded to meet Let’s Move! goals. Work completed in the first two Summits will be a beginning point for the upcoming community-wide citizen Summits on June 18 and July 9.
“StandUp Blue Springs utilizes an innovative and unique process that builds on a series of community Summits to not only obtain citizen ideas, but also to engage citizens in the implementation of new programs and ideas,” said Dave Wright, Board President of StandUp Blue Springs. “We think ‘BIG’ in Blue Springs,” Wright continued. ”We understand that childhood obesity is a serious problem; however, it is a often a result of habits developed early in life that can affect a person's health through adulthood. We can best fix the problem by encouraging and improving healthier lifestyles for every citizen, regardless of age, and then we must ‘model that healthier behavior’ for our children and our grandchildren.”
Two examples of public-private partnerships that resulted from previous StandUp Blue Springs Citizen Summits were the creation of the Greg Grounds Off-leash Dog Park and Wilbur Young Disk Golf Park. The ideas for both were generated by citizens in past Summits, then citizens were trained on implementing their ideas, and they worked together to turn their ideas into reality. Both facilities are now operated by the City of Blue Springs and resulted from funding and support by a variety of community organizations and volunteers.
Blue Springs was officially designated as a Let’s Move! Community in March 2011 and has taken a unique and innovative approach to engage all citizens through the “summit process.” The nationwide Let’s Move! initiative was created by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services as part of a national effort to raise a healthier generation of children. This initiative is a comprehensive approach to engage the many sectors that reach children, including parents, families, schools, community leaders, municipalities and businesses. The Let’s Move! goals are based on four pillars: 1) make healthy family choices, 2) create healthy schools, 3) provide access to healthy, affordable food; and 4) promote physical activity.
The second Citizen Summit is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at the same time and location. All summits are free and open to the public. For information or if you want to register in advance, call StandUp Blue Springs at (816) 478-4500 or visit www.StandUpBlueSprings.org/events. To access the new community calendar to view free and low-cost activities that supports the Let’s Move! Blue Springs initiative, visit www.BlueSpringsGov.com/LetsMove.
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