Cedar Rapids – A Healthy Hometown
In January, 2013, the City of Cedar Rapids was named a Blue Zones Demonstration Site and began work to become a Blue Zones Community®. The goal was to encourage citizens of Cedar Rapids to take steps to live happier, healthier, longer lives. In March 2016, Cedar Rapids became the 15th certified Blue Zones Community in the nation. Blue Zones Project Cedar Rapids has inspired countless individuals to take steps toward a better quality of life and create a greater sense of well-being. The City’s contract with The Blue Zones Project ended in February 2018.
Joining forces with Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark enables the City to continue to focus on improving the quality of life for our residents and making it easier to get around within the community. The Healthy Hometown model centers on improvements in three key areas: eat well, move more and feel better. Re-imagining city blocks, helping residents get around safely, and encouraging fresh food consumption are just a few things on Cedar Rapids' to-do list.
Some noteworthy achievements in Cedar Rapids include:
- Farmers’ Market —
- Began accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Payments in 2017. In the first year, $1,300 in SNAP transactions were completed.
- Established a free shuttle to the Farmers’ Market for those who live in an area considered a “food desert.” More than 40 people took advantage of the service in its first year.
- Throughout the Farmers’ Market season, a total of 3,738 pounds of fresh produce was donated to a food rescue program. This equates to 3,115 meals.
- Walk Friendly Community — Cedar Rapids reveived a Bronze-level recognition for its momentum with current plans and programs, including the Pedestrian Master Plan, ADA efforts, Healthiest State Walk held annually, adoption of a new pedestrian-friendly zoning code, and numerous infrastructure improvements that are pedestrian and walk friendly.
- Complete Streets — Cedar Rapids was the first in the state to design streets for all users, not just cars. The policy makes it easy for everyone — including bicyclists, pedestrians, people of all ages and those living with disabilities — to safely cross streets, walk to shops and bike to work or school.
The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that strives to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. For the past five years, the City of Cedar Rapids has actively worked on well-being initiatives. Cedar Rapids was chosen as a finalist for Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) award in the community category. The city was identified for advancing efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans. Cedar Rapids was also identified as home to some of the most active residents in the country, according to Fitbit’s year in review report. Using data collected from the more than 3.5 million active users, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Iowa City and Waterloo all ranked seventh on the top-10 list for most active cities.
Healthiest State Initiative
Healthy Cedar Rapids Social Media Pages
Subscribe to the Healthy Cedar Rapids e-newsletter