Thursday, June 6, 2013

Durham Awarded Medals for Childhood Obesity Achievements

Durham is a place where people are on the move. Movers and shakers come from all parts of the word to learn, grow and achieve. However, the city has recently been recognized for a different kind of moving.

The National League of Cities (NLC) recently recognized Durham and Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell for recent completion of key health and wellness goals for First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties (LMCTC) initiative.  The purpose of the initiative is to solve the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation.

LMCTC participants can earn up to five gold medals for each actionable goal they commit to as part of the initiative. Four medals were awarded to Durham for achievements and action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and increase opportunities for physical activity in Goals I and V.

Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart promotes best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings. Durham received a bronze medal for demonstrating active interagency collaboration on early care and education programs. Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) offers pre-school programming to all care program participants on a year round basis as well as provides nutritional snacks and facilitates 30 or more minutes of physical exercise daily.

Goal V: Active Kids at Play increases opportunities for physical activity. Durham received a bronze, silver and gold medal for mapping all City playgrounds on the KaBOOM!; conducting regular safety and needs assessments in all of parks; creating a plan to increase physical activity in Durham Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) care programs, establishing a Joint Use Agreement with Durham Public Schools, maintaining an ongoing revitalization of existing parks; and construction of new parks and having a City Master Plan that includes provisions to encourage walking and biking.

“Durham is a great place to live, work and play,” says Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell. “We are constantly looking for ways to ensure that Durham residents have a good quality of life and that includes providing viable healthy and affordable resources for our community.”

More than 320 cities, towns and counties participate in LMCTC. Each month, NLC recognizes local elected officials who achieve key benchmarks for the five LMCTC goals. To date, NLC has awarded 899 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials across the country for their progress.

“Local elected officials play a critical role in addressing childhood obesity in our country and communities, and we commend those leaders being recognized for their achievements in taking action to improve healthy eating and physical activity in their communities,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, AZ.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the lead collaborating partner on this initiative, working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations, in assisting local elected officials to implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded NLC a grant to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including sites participating in LMCTC.

About the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities.  Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.

For more information about LMCTC and Durham’s accomplishments, visit the website.

About Durham Parks and Recreation
Durham Parks and Recreation provides opportunities for the Durham community to “Play More.” Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, we strive to help residents discover, explore and enjoy life through creative and challenging recreational choices that contribute to their physical, emotional and social health.

To learn more about Durham Parks and Recreation, visit online, call (919) 560-4355 or like them on Facebook.

To learn more about Durham, visit this site.

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