Tallahassee strives to be a Healthy Community
By James Celeste
Overcast skies did not stop folks on the morning of April 25 from partaking in the Healthy Communities Festival at Cascades Park. However, the inclement weather cut short the Earth Day celebrations as rain swept through the Big Bend area.
Food vendors, educational demonstrators and the live entertainment were all present up until the storm.
Before the rain, folks got a chance to run the 3k fun run/walk. Dontrell Russell, member of the South City Motor Sports Club, mentioned that people need to be aware of the importance of being active. By holding a fun run to start the day people will be able to do so.
The city of Tallahassee partnered with The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Health, Leon County and Commuter Services of North Florida to host the green-themed educational event that promoted everything that makes the community healthy.
“You can’t have the healthy people without the healthy environment,” said John Baker, program development administrator of the city of Tallahassee. He also added how the environment almost entirely sustains everything. “Earth Day gives us the opportunity to focus people’s efforts to remind them of the beauty of earth’s resources and responsibility to be good stewardess of earth’s resources.”
Even as a child Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer celebrated Earth Day, he said.
“I remember Earth Day when I was a kid and even then we were talking about the need to take better care of our planet and we’re in a position now where the issues that we probably should have done a better job taking care of then, are even more prevalent,” he said.
There was a continuous push for wellness towards children at the festival.
“It starts with kids eating healthy, less television and more exercise. Those are things that are really important. We have certain parts of our community where a healthy diet is either because of lack of knowledge or quite frankly it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy,” Ziffer said.
Throughout the day, over 60 different vendors interacted with people who came to the festival, teaching them and introducing them to healthy alternative tips. Tips were provided in terms of their personal health and well-being as well as how they can take care of recycling or even building a backyard garden.
“I think the city of Tallahassee has a very strong purpose on environmental sustainability in general and we see this as a reflection of our community. We live in a community that embraces the environment. A community that wants a vibrant healthy economy and so this festival mirrors what we believe the community desires and what Tallahassee wants to be – a living sustainabl