The City of Lacombe is pleased to announce that it has received a Choosewell Healthy Community Award for Creating Supportive Environments from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA).

“We are honoured to be recognized once again by ARPA for taking action to create supportive conditions for healthy living for our residents,” said Recreation and Culture Manager Sandi Stewart. “Lacombe is proud to be a ChooseWell Community welcoming everyone to live, work and play.”

The 2016 ChooseWell Healthy Community Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association’s Annual Conference and Energize Workshop in Jasper.

The City’s Community Services staff received this award for their efforts in participating in the Communities ChooseWell initiative by coordinating various programs, activities and challenges throughout the year to promote and facilitate healthy eating and active living.

“We have partnered with local schools to promote healthy eating, and we take every opportunity we can to get them involved and reward them with ChooseWell-approved prizes, such as healthy lunches for classes or lunch containers for individual students,” said Recreation and Culture Administrative Assistant Sonya Beauclair. “As well, in the workplace we take every opportunity to promote ChooseWell principles such as having active breaks and enjoying healthy snacks during meetings.”

Below are some Choosewell programs that the department coordinated this year:

1. Launched “Find the Right Fit” program by teaming up with ten local fitness facilities to allow residents to try a variety of fitness programs available in Lacombe for free to find what is right for them

2. Launched the Workplace Wellness Committee to promote and facilitate healthy food options for work meetings, encouraging active breaks and other wellness education

3. Hosted “Kids in the Kitchen” program (teaching children ages 8-12 some basic kitchen and cooking skills)

4. Launched “Operation Lunch Box” ( a challenge to get everyone to pack nutritious and balanced lunches; staff also worked with local schools to encourage students to pack healthy lunches)

5. Assisted in forming a Community Wellness Education Steering Committee that focuses on promoting health and wellness education in the entire community

6. Started the “Lacombe NeighbourShare” Facebook page to promote the sharing excess garden produce

7. Hosted the annual WinterActive challenge (getting residents active for 30 minutes a day for 21 days)

Upcoming initiatives include the installation of community gardens on the Lacombe Food Bank grounds next spring (made possible through grant funding and help from the Lacombe Woodworkers Guild).

The ChooseWell Healthy Community Awards celebrate the efforts and achievements of communities and wellness champions across Alberta in promoting healthy eating and active living and creating conditions where the healthy choice is the easy choice.