HEAL SPotlight: hyattsville, maryland
Since the adoption of its HEAL Resolution in 2014, the City of Hyattsville has demonstrated its commitment to healthy eating and active living through a city-wide effort to incorporate policies and practices that help the community make heathier food choices and necessary lifestyle changes. Eight months after passing the City’s HEAL Resolution, Hyattsville adopted six HEAL policies, some of which include a Healthy Meeting and Event initiative, the Any Time Fitness Challenge, the Movin’ With the Mayor program, and a Green Streets Policy. In 2016, Hyattsville was the first city in the Mid-Atlantic to achieve the Platinum HEAL recognition level – HEAL’s highest recognition.
Hyattsville has been working to incorporate changes throughout the City by improving safety and security to make the city more walkable and improve access to community resources. Throughout the past four seasons, the City has managed the oldest farmers market in Prince George’s County – tripling market vendors, increasing healthy food options for low-income residents, and facilitating a social community space for the City and visitors to enjoy. The City of Hyattsville has also helped improve green space through the construction of an edible food forest at a local City park.
Hyattsville’s HEAL policies include programs and activities for the City’s workforce. These include the monthly Brown Bag Lunch Series that allows for open dialog on wellness topics and an Employee Wellness Fair where surrounding municipalities participate in an afternoon of wellness activities, healthy eating demonstrations, dance, exercise and more.. These events provide the community with an opportunity to learn about local wellness programs and events while also creating a space for community interaction and connection. The City also purchased elliptical machines and tread-desks for City employees and offers regular exercise classes for staff and residents.
The City of Hyattsville is a leading HEAL City as demonstrated by its commitment to implementing and sustaining innovative policies and practices that promote healthy eating and active living for the community and workforce. The City’s achievements are made possible through the hard work of an interdepartmental, collaborative team of individuals and strong support from the Mayor and City Administrator. Ellarose Preston, the City’s Health and Wellness Coordinator notes: “One of the most important things about the HEAL work that we’ve done is put policies in place for people to hold onto and implement, even as transitions in the administration occur.”