Healthy H2O Loo is an integrative prevention and early intervention program derived from evidence-based practices; involving established programs (Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s Fruit & Veggie Voucher Program, Blue Zones School Wellness Programs). Obesity contributes to comorbidities including but not limited to asthma, high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and health issues as an adult, and it negatively affects the overall quality of life. It is necessary to offer different intervention methods as well as include a wide range of community entities.
Education - Presenting information and access to healthy foods in the classroom
Integration – Using school gardens to produce and introduce foods as early in life as possible
Fitness - Including physical fitness in class time, every twenty minutes students have to move to a different station, incorporate jumping jacks or other activities in the day (studies have shown that physical activity [before school] is a beneficial behavioral health intervention strategy)
- Increase community engagement; community members, stakeholders, organization with universal messaging
- Increase knowledge of early education of healthy behaviors, specifically increasing fruit/vegetable consumption and increase physical activity
- Decrease BMI by 2% per year of enrollment in FVVP until healthy BMI is reached
Waterloo was awarded $100,000 to support childhood obesity prevention programs from the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) during the organization’s 85th Winter Meeting in Washington, DC in January of 2017. The awards went to cities with outstanding programs that encourage healthy weight through balanced diet choices and regular physical activity.
Here are some of the ways the award money was put to use:
- Eight School Gardens
- Seven Schools 'Pick A Better Snack' program
Highland Elementary Gardens
A special partnership was established with the Cedar Valley Makers to build raised beds and compost boxes.
Students finished filling compost into raised beds, measured and marked areas in the beds, added signs that were made at the maker space, planted the grade level beds, and planted the tilled areas by the front fence!
They planted a Salsa garden, pizza garden, salad garden, chemistry garden, pumpkins, sunflowers, and corn.
These healthy initiatives help make good health and well-being a reality for Waterloo residents.Making the healthy choice, the easy choice. Waterloo is one of the first cities in the world to become a Certified Blue Zones Community and is part of the Cedar Valley Blue Zones Project.
- Bike Friendly Waterloo - Creating a fully integrated bicycle transportation system.
- Cedar Valley SportsPlex - Your premier fitness and recreation facility providing affordable, high-quality facility and programing that’s accessible to everyone.
- Cedar Valley Trails - Waterloo’s numerous recreational trails connect to the extensive regional trail system. Find your route to work, a work-out, or relaxation.
- Mayor’s Fun Run -
annual ( use photos and video) Approximately 1,000 fourth-grade students from Waterloo public and private schools participate in the Mayor’s Fun Run sponsored by the Waterloo Kiwanis Club through downtown Waterloo. The annual Fun Run stresses the importance of students being active and developing life-long. Students enjoy the challenge to beat the mayor to the finish line!
- Mayor’s Walk –
annual Residents are encouraged to hit the streets with co-workers, family, and friends and walk through downtown with the Mayor and city officials.
- Waterloo’s Complete Streets Policy - The policy requires the city to design, build and maintain new or reconstructed roadways to be accessible and safe for all potential users, including vehicles as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. Added elements could include lighting, sidewalks, crosswalk improvements, bus shelters, wider travel lanes, shared-use lanes or bicycles lanes, among others. The policy also includes exceptions to complete streets design features, such as streets or corridors where non-motorized traffic is not advised or when the cost of installation would be excessive. Contact the Planning Department for more information.
City Hall (Second Floor)
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, IA 50703
Phone: (319) 291-4366
Fax: (319) 291-4262
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm