Sheldon, Sibley, Sioux Center and Orange City have all jumped the first hurdle to being named a “Blue Zone Community” in Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative. Community members were to voice their support for their community to become a “Blue Zone Community”. Now, these northwest Iowa towns are among 58 Iowa communities chosen from the initial 84 to advance to the next level — submitting a full application.
We talked to Greta Giese, coordinator of the NCC Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center in Sheldon and asked her what being a “Blue Zone Community” is all about.
She says from the book, they developed a program.
She says they’re called the “power 9″ principles.
She says the idea is to change the whole community, including recreation programming, restaurants, businesses, and many facets of our lives. The Blue Zones Community model coordinates strong existing programs, brings in experts to inspire, train and provide innovative best practices, and ultimately organizes programs to provide greater options for physical, emotional, and social health.
The Sheldon Blue Zone Committee will meet Tuesday, December 6 to go over the application, delegate responsibilities and discuss their next steps. The deadline to submit the application is January 4. From there, finalist communities will be announced in February and in February and March 2012, a team will visit the communities selected to assess the community’s ability and desire to become a Blue Zones Community. The winning Blue Zones Communities will be selected and notified in May.
For more information, you can go to bluezonesproject.com.
By Scott Van Aartsen