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Jackson County, IL Plan4Health Promotes Physical Activity


Plan4Health grant keeps kids active through temporary built environment opportunity

Members of the Jackson County Healthy Communities Coalition are partnering again to promote physical activity in the community through the recently-launched Plan4Health program. Capitalizing on the recent, though temporary, addition of the ice skating rink located in the city parking lot on South Jackson Street near the Town Square, partners are sponsoring a special youth event from the Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale. The youth will have the opportunity to enjoy some time on the rink on Friday, January 22, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Staff from the many collaborating agencies will be on hand to provide a safe environment for some active, outdoor fun and to allow for an opportunity to experience an activity rarely available in southern Illinois– synthetic ‘ice’ skating!

The Jackson County Plan4Health initiative, led by the City of Carbondale and the Jackson County Health Department, supports efforts by the Jackson County Healthy Communities Coalition (JCHCC) to expand efforts that reshape policies, systems and spaces to encourage healthy behaviors. Not only does the ice rink temporarily reshape a space for physical activity this winter, but proceeds from activities ther e will support a more permanent environmental change in the community, the Carbondale Splash Park, set to open Memorial Day weekend, 2016. According to Tina Carpenter, Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, “Each of these built environment changes foster a healthy community by promoting access to physical activity, community engagement, a nd health equity.”

Plan4Health is a national project that connects communities across the country, funding work at the intersection of planning and public health. Anchored by APA chapters and, APHA affiliates, Plan4Health supports creative partnerships to build sustainable, cross-sector coalitions. Coalitions work with communities to increase access to healthy food or increase opportunities for active living where residents live, work, and play.

Key partners for this event include the Carbondale Park District, the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, the City of Carbondale, and the Jackson County Health Department. For more information about the efforts of the JCHCC and how to get involved, visit http://www.hsidn.org/jackson-county-healthy-communities-coalition.html. Stay up to date with the latest JCHCC Plan4Health news and events at Twitter: #plan4healthjchcc

For information specific to the Jackson County Plan4Health program, contact Travis Taylor, Planner, City of Carbondale, at 618-457-3233, or Michelle McLernon, Director of Health Education at Jackson County Health Department, at 618-684-3143, ext. 134.

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