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Would you like a healthier hometown?

South Dakota communities making progress

No matter where it is, your hometown is special. It’s where your heart is. It’s where your friends and family live, play, learn and grow. And, it’s the community you connect with and want to see succeed and flourish.

As much as you love your hometown, you’d probably like to make it even better. Have you ever considered getting your friends, neighbors and community leaders on board to do exactly that?

Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark opens in new window works with communities to help identify ways they can help residents grow in the areas of eating well, moving more and feeling better.

Six communities in South Dakota recently made amazing progress toward these goals and are being recognized for their efforts. Healthy Hometown and Good & Healthy South Dakota External Site will announce the inaugural 2018 Healthy Hometown Community award winners on Oct. 17, 2018, during the Chronic Disease Partners/Better Choices, Better Health® Meeting in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Look for follow-up stories and tips from winners that can help you begin making changes in your own community.

Healthy Hometown 2018 Healthy Community Award Nominees

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Here are the highlights:

Aberdeen

  • Added 1.25 miles to its current trail system
  • Hosted monthly healthy cooking events at the teaching kitchen in the new library
  • Provided healthy food and beverage options to students, with 125 lunches served daily Monday through Friday and 7,000 total served over the summer

Dell Rapids

  • Expanded two miles of trail and created enhancements along trails using benches, picnic tables and lighting
  • Made walkability along HWY 77 a priority in future improvement projects
  • Introduced healthy food options through demonstrations and taste testing

Fort Pierre

  • Started a community garden with 24 raised beds, providing fresh produce to more than 150 senior nutrition program recipients and at least 80 other individuals
  • Established a weekly farmers’ market with 40 vendors and 300—400 attendees each week
  • Rehabilitated a trail, installed a bike repair station, and resurfaced 5,300 feet of recreational trail impacting 150–200 people daily

Pierre

  • Created an edible orchard by planting 24 new fruit trees
  • Rehabilitated and widened 1,600 feet of trail
  • Expanded the Go Green and Clean program in which 235 volunteers representing 30 organizations collected more than 4,000 pounds of trash

Rapid City

  • Expanded community gardens and planted edible landscaping
  • Improved and expanded an existing trail within the town by widening the path and replacing broken concrete
  • Established four new food pantries to collect and distribute healthy food to people in need

Sioux Falls

  • Expanded a bike trail by more than a mile to connect 40,000 residents west of the interstate to 30 miles of uninterrupted trails
  • Implemented a “road diet,” rechanneling lanes and reducing the width of the road in front of the City Center building, to improve safety and provide space for different modes of travel
  • Passed an ordinance establishing a nicotine-free policy for city properties and in parks during youth events impacting 183,000 residents

Get started in your own community today!

Creating a healthy hometown takes more than simply clicking your heals together, closing your eyes and making a wish. It involves creating adoptable and lasting changes to your community’s built environment to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Wondering how to get your community involved? Visit the Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark page to learn more and get started!