Strathcona County was recently recognized for its efforts to promote a healthy, active community.

The county won the ChooseWell Healthy Community Award in the category of Developing Healthy Policies in a Community for several of its planning initiatives, including community garden partnerships and walking and cycling trails.
"This category is all about creating those policies so that there's guidance moving forward in order to have the actions and the plans and the programs that communities want," said Jennifer Wilson, who works for the county’s recreation, parks and culture department.
In implementing its urban agriculture strategy, the county worked with 20 schools and 14 community groups to develop and expand its community gardens.
“School sites are able to apply to have garden boxes at their school,” Wilson said. “And we will come in and install them. And then it helps the students not only learn about hands on growing and where your food comes from, but you can turn it into science with soil and bugs and all that stuff."
County mayor Rod Frank said that building strong communities is one of council’s priorities.
“Through partnerships and careful planning, we enjoy healthy activities through improved trails, community gardens and the merging of local history and information about hidden gems within our newly launched cycling map,” Frank said.
The county launched its new urban trail cycling map this summer and in September celebrated the opening of a regional trail system linking county trails to Fort Saskatchewan.
The ChooseWell Healthy Community Awards recognize communities that are currently participating in the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association’s Communities ChooseWell initiative. The awards celebrate the efforts and achievements of communities and wellness champions across Alberta in promoting healthy eating, active living and creating conditions that support people to live well.
The award ceremony took place on October 25 in Jasper.

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