At WalkNEIowa.org, our mission is to get Northeast Iowans walking! Our new website was created as a tool to create connection, provide resources, and tell stories. We’ve been working with our community health partners to spread the word. Check out these community updates:
Oelwein had a walking event on June 2 that was a great success!
In Decorah, Winneshiek Medical Center has activities and a booth planned for the Winneshiek County Fair, which will incorporate information and infographics promoting walking and WalkNEIowa. Additionally, Winneshiek County kicked off WalkNEIowa at a high-energy event at the Decorah pool on June 8. The festivities started with a community walk directly before the pool opened for their Slide into Summer family swim event. The WalkNEIowa crew, which included Winneshiek Medical Center, Luther College Wellness, NICC, Upper Exploreland Regional Planning Commission, and Decorah Parks and Recreation, then hosted a table with fun activities for kids, walking maps of area communities, and bird ID books for the kids to take. There was lots of splashing, smiles, and sunblock! The team left a banner at the pool house promoting the WalkNEIowa website and hashtags.
New Hampton kicked off in May with all of the elementary and middle school walking to school on May 3! Since then they started a weekly walking group on Wednesday nights meeting at the middle school to walk for about an hour. They also continued with the walking school bus throughout the school year and will start back up in the fall. During this time they have promoted walking and the health benefits with sidewalk chalk on their trails!
Guttenberg is committing that everyone will continue to find walking stories to submit to WalkNEIowa.org, partners will post on the website and Facebook pages introducing Walk More Connect More message and new website & logo, and the hospital will create a display board with the regional Walk More Connect More message and website.
Waukon: “Veterans Memorial Hospital always has a very busy, interactive fair booth in the commercial building at the Allamakee County Fair each year where we hand out about 500 bags full of health and wellness information, perform free testing and play some type of trivia or activity with the youth. This year we will have copies of the WalkNEIowa maps of the towns in our service area that individuals can pick up as they walk by plus have the main website handout given to us at kick-off off included in all of the packets as we did at our annual Wellness Fair on May 9. In addition, we plan to incorporate this information into our annual 5K on Saturday, August 19, in all of the runner/walkers packets as well as offer a shorter route for those not interested in doing a full 5K, to walk one of the actual WalkNEIowa routes around our campus, then return to the hospital. We are excited and thankful to be working with Jami Haberl of the Healthiest State Initiative who has partnered with us for this event!”
Cresco: “Our hope for the future is to eventually get a Wellness Committee like New Hampton. We really liked the signs that West Union had; we are hoping to get some made this summer. We have a Doctor who’s committed to leading a walking school bus for this fall; will work with Ashley Christensen to prepare a Facebook walking challenge that will be starting soon at RHSHC. We are tying it in with the WalkNEIowa and hashtags. We are also thinking of ways that we can get the community involved.
Elkader will execute a display in the front lobby of their hospital. Write an article in their hospital community newsletter mailed to over 4,000 people in Clayton County, and also have information on their web site along with the Elkader map link.