LiveWell — 2nd community meeting tonite

LiveWell Lawrence began its campaign to motivate Lawrencians to create a healthier town with healthier people with a big bang — the “World’s Largest Community Workout” on July 8. After a larger-than-expected turnout at a community meeting last week, it’s holding another one tonight.

Holcom Park Recreation Center — 7 p.m.
2700 West 27th St. (27th and Lawrence)

Among the 35 people who showed up last week were one physician, a law enforcement officer in uniform, a school board member, State Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence), representatives from several nonprofit organizations, business owners, people from the political left and people from the political right. A varied group, says Marilyn Hull, the LiveWell Lawrence rep who put on the presentation. She and I chatted yesterday to provide all the info that’s in this blog post. Shade Little, who’s married to KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was there, too. He’s in the foreground here, while Marilyn’s standing in the background.

I hear that it’s unusual for such a varied group to agree on anything (I’m a newcomer to these parts….). But Marilyn says that everyone felt a need to work together as a community to improve our community health.

People came with ideas, most of which centered around:

• Outdoor play for kids, and how to provide support systems for parents trying to get kids away from sitting activities (a big oxymoronish, but at least thumbs and some part of the mind are active in computer games).

• Sustainable food, local foods, and promoting gardening, which also is a way to be physically active.

• How to encourage the city and county to put bike lanes on the most heavily cycled roads. Here’s a phrase that was used: Complete streets. It means streets that are designed for autos AND bicycles AND pedestrians AND transit.

• Convincing people with lower incomes and those who haven’t finished high school that good health isn’t a luxury, but that it’s accessible to everyone, and that you can eat healthy on a tight budget.

• How to support walking school buses.

There were other ideas: Plant fruit trees on public property (wouldn’t it be cool to take a walk at lunch and grab an apple off a tree?). Sponsor free dances. Encourage local restaurants to have healthy foods.

Marilyn says that she’s gathering ideas so that LiveWell Lawrence can start figuring out what to do next. So, come on down tonight if you’ve got some good ideas, or if you want to get involved in this effort.