On Saturday, Feb. 9th the whole HdV crew spent the day at De Anza Park in Ontario participating in the Kaiser-Permanente HEAL Zone festival. The “Healthy Eating Active Living” festival was a way to kick off the $1 million dollar healthy living grant that Kaiser-Permanente has awarded the city as well as to inform the Ontario community of existing and upcoming programs/ services that are or will soon be available in the area (Like an awesome community garden!!)
Kaiser has stated that the HEAL Zone program will focus on three specific goals over the next three years:
-Decrease calorie consumption- especially sugar sweetened beverages
-Increase consumption of healthy foods and beverages- such as fresh fruits and vegetables
-Increase physical activity
While at the event HdV members got a chance to talk to community members about the garden and present our mini-model as a visual of what can be accomplished through community cooperation. More importantly though, HdV members had ample time to LISTEN to community members/ residents to hear about what their visions for the city were and how we could help aid in making those visions into reality. All HdV members were ecstatic about the overwhelming interest from the residents in our community garden project as well as their desires to have fresh produce available in the area. Hearing it from the community members themselves has definitely motivated us to keep working hard in getting the garden up and running!
In addition to building relationships with Ontario residents HdV members also had a chance to talk to different community organizations and gain more insight as to how we can improve our own program to better benefit the Ontario residents. A fan favorite and definitely an ally to HdV throughout our developing process was Bing from the Heritage Farmer’s Market. His positive attitude and endless smile greeted each resident as he handed out hundreds of free items of fresh produce. Hopefully at the next HEAL Zone event HdV will be able to do the same J AndBing’s efforts don’t just end at lettuce heads and celery sticks- check out the amazing work Heritage Education Group provides in educational services, public health services, and art programs at their website, http://www.heritageeducationgroup.org/ and their blog http://heritagefarmersmarket.blogspot.com/p/markets.html
All members of the HdV family would greatly like to express their thanks and gratitude to The City of Ontario, Jerry Blum, Karen Thompson, Rudy Zeledon, and the entire City of Ontario Planning Dept, Kaiser- Permanente, De Anza Park, Bing and Heritage Education Group, Residents of the Ontario area, Pitzer College, Pitzer Media Studies, Pitzer student volunteers, HdV community volunteers, and anybody else who may have helped make the HEAL Zone festival a successful and rewarding experience for all of us. THANK YOU!