PdC leaders called upon to work toward a healthier community

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By Rachel Mergen

 

On May 23, Healthy Roots of Crawford County brought community businesses, professionals and officials together to discuss how they could work to push Prairie du Chien and the county as a whole to become a healthier place to live. 

The organization, whose mission statement is “promoting healthy living across the lifespan for all residents,” is attempting to reach its vision of creating a culture rich with wellness and opportunities to be as healthy as possible. Their priorities are “connecting individuals and families to active places and spaces,” “expanding access to healthy foods” and “increasing access to community resources.”

During the meeting, information was shared on how good public health is connected to good economies and businesses. Healthy Roots included facts about the need for bike racks, so people can save money by riding their bikes to businesses instead of driving; creating more smoke-free zones to protect people from suffering from lung disease; constructing walkable spaces for people to enjoy; and offering healthier options in vending machines instead of caffeinated or sugary items. 

Healthy Roots also offered charts showing the poor quality of health in Crawford County compared to Richland County, Vernon County and the state averages. Premature deaths in Crawford County, according to the organization’s data, were over 1,000 more than the average. The rest of the data showed possible causes of why the death rate of the county and of the poor health situation are so much higher than that of other counties. 

Attendees were asked to brainstorm and shares ideas of how they and their businesses or employers could help create a healthier society. They were also asked to pledge that they work toward better health-related goals and that they would share the messages discussed during the meeting.

Healthy Roots also requested that those in attendance would consider being involved with their organization directly, as they are working to reorganize in a way that will include a newly-established board of directors and committees focused on healthy foods, active places and spaces, and community resources. 

To learn more about Healthy Roots of Crawford County and how to become involved, visit tinyurl.com/healthyroots or call 326-0223. 

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