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Progress report indicates city could be healthier

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of articles examining each section of a Progress Park Rapids indicator report. The articles will appear in the Park Rapids Enterprise each Wednesday over the next several weeks.

Park Rapids should work as a community to improve physical health, according to the Progress Park Rapids Indicator Report.

In the community wellness and safety section of the indicator, Park Rapids could be healthier.

Often, wellness and safety are addressed solely by health organizations and law enforcement agencies, but in reality community wellness and safety can affect many facets of the community including schools, economy, and overall livability, according to the indicator report.

Due to the generational passing of at-risk behaviors relating to drugs, alcohol and crime, strategies in this section will have to address the issue on all fronts, both youth and adult. This collaborative approach will have to be embraced throughout the community for success to be possible, according to the indicator report.

The physical health of this community could be much better. Park Rapids has developed some bad habits that have contributed to high overweight and obese rates.

Progress Park Rapids has developed goals to improve the health of the community, including:

-Enhance the community's existing partnership for health. A broad community engagement is needed to improve. Possible projects that could result from this would be a community-wide weight loss challenge, an active living initiative, and an effort to make Park Rapids more pedestrian friendly.

-Make the work of the Hubbard County Youth Drug and Alcohol Task Force a centerpiece in the community. Sarah Bowles, Chemical Health coordinator for the Hubbard County Youth Drug and Alcohol Task Force, has been working to develop this task force in the community.

-Provide alternative positive activity to reduce the frequency of sedentary life styles. The ongoing discussions about a community center could be a key component of a strategy. Other initiatives include: Rice Park improvements, increasing the bike and pedestrian trail system in the community and increasing the summer outdoor recreation programs.

To get involved and help out, go to to get information about "champions," or contacts for the community wellness and safety section.