The City of Golden has achieved Elite Status in LiveWell’s HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign
GOLDEN — October 16, 2017 — LiveWell Colorado is proud to award Elite Status to the City of Golden for its commitment to building a healthy community. The City achieves this milestone recognition from LiveWell’s HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for advancing healthy eating and active living (HEAL) policies that help make Golden a healthy place to live, work, and play.
“We are honored to be recognized as one of only nine LiveWell Elite Cities in Colorado,” said Golden City Planner Amber Wesner. “Golden is fortunate to have elected officials, staff, and many local organizations and non-profits committed to helping the City advance our health and wellness goals.”
Julie George, director of LiveWell’s HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, agreed: “Golden has made a significant investment in building a healthier community by working to improve access to healthy food and physical activity for its residents.”
There are four levels in LiveWell Colorado’s HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign: Eager, Active, Fit, and Elite. In order to qualify for Elite status, a city must have adopted at least five HEAL policies. The following are just a few of the policies, programs, and practices Golden has put into place.
Since joining the Campaign in April 2014, Golden has:
- Increased access to healthy, local food for low-income residents by requiring community farmers’ markets on city property to accept SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).
- Invested in numerous active living infrastructure projects, most recently including a skate park, playgrounds and trails, sidewalks, wayfinding, and complete streets.
- Adopted Urban Agriculture Regulations, allowing community gardens, produce stands, farmers’ markets, and neighborhood farmers’ markets as a “use by right” in most zoning districts to encourage food access and production in Golden.
- Established healthy vending criteria for City vending machines and concession stands by following the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines to provide healthier options to residents and visitors.
- Created a bike library and bike share program, to create last mile connections, reduce vehicle miles traveled in Golden, and provide an alternative (healthy) transportation option to enjoy the city. Best of all, the first two hours are free.
- Increased funding for an additional circulator bus to allow non-motorized access to downtown and the light rail. Another opportunity to reduce vehicle miles traveled in Golden, the City collaborated with the Colorado School of Mines, RTD, and Jefferson County, and secured a federal Transportation Improvement Program grant to provide a circulator bus from the light rail station that loops through downtown Golden every 15 minutes Monday through Saturday.
- Coordinated a Safe Routes to School program in partnership with Mitchell and Shelton Elementary Schools. This Colorado Department of Transportation funded grant program provides education and encouragement to students to walk or bike to school. Research shows kids who get physical activity prior to school are more alert and perform better. St. Anthony’s Hospital also took part in the program providing helmets to students in need.
- Completed the Linking Lookout Project at US 6 and 19th Street to not only help through-traffic on US 6 by lowering the street by 24 feet, but also to connect the Golden neighborhoods west of US 6 to the rest of Golden with a pedestrian and bicycle safe and accessible route complete with a park, trails, and a small amphitheater.
“Golden is very proud of its Elite status in the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign and we will continue to strive to provide opportunities for healthy eating and active living for all residents and visitors, particularly those most impacted by health disparities,” said Wesner. “We look forward to working with LiveWell Colorado as we continue to set goals for an even healthier, more inclusive, community.”
To learn more about Golden and its healthy living initiatives, visit www.cityofgolden.net.