The Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Recreation, Cultural & Community Services Commission (RCCS) have been identifying different methods to support and promote Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) in Novato. Staff is participating in county-wide HEAL planning committees, attending trainings, publishing informational articles, and working to develop partnerships that encourage residents to eat healthy foods and lead active lives. City staff and the RCCS are now interested in developing city-wide goals, policies and programs to directly support HEAL, suggestions for which are outlined in the Healthy Eating Active Living White Paper.
The white paper provides background information on obesity and physical inactivity trends, and offers practical suggestions on how Novato can improve the overall health of its community by providing greater access to healthy foods and recreational opportunities. The white paper also suggests prioritizing development projects that incorporate pedestrian and bike-friendly components, such as well-connected walking paths and enhancing the connectivity of trails. The white paper posits that in order for people to make the healthy choice, it must also be the easy choice; there needs to be a multitude of opportunities for physical activity and access to fresh and healthy foods in order for Novato residents to lead healthy lives. Finally, the Healthy Eating Active Living White Paper identifies potential policies that could be incorporated into the draft General Plan to support and enhance our community’s health for many generations to come.