Livable streets

Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) is spearheading “Livable Streets” initiative to increase awareness of the importance of promoting a healthy, vibrant community that provides safe, accessible places for people to bike, walk and exercise.

A meeting to discuss the Missouri Livable Streets policy is 5:30-6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Texas County Health Department. Local leaders and residents are invited and a light meal will be provided.

Many rural communities across the state have seen a rise in diabetes and obesity rates, leading some to explore ways to support healthier lifestyles.

“That’s why Livable Streets is gaining popularity in many rural areas, according to HSHC officials,” said HSHC community coordinator Earlene Stoops. “Simple projects like improving sidewalks or adding crosswalks not only provide a safer way for people to exercise, but also look attractive to funders when planning larger community improvement projects.”

Texas County’s prevalence rate for diabetes is 10.7 percent and 32.6 percent for obesity – higher than the state average.

“Exercise plays a large role in preventing and managing chronic diseases like these,” Stoops said. “Additionally, improved infrastructure provides safer alternatives for people who are in wheelchairs or have other impairments.”

The meeting will present an opportunity for community members, groups and leaders to ask questions and learn more about creating safe, livable streets in Houston.

For additional information, call Stoops at 417-967-4131 or email stoops@texasmo.org.

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