It’s Friday the 13th and only 9 degrees when I started my car this morning, but already I am thinking ahead to Spring! There are 35 days until we transition to a new season! And speaking of transitioning, Lincoln Park will be embarking on a journey through a ShapingNJ grant. As a $10,000 grant recipient from the Atlantic Health System, Lincoln Park will be initiating changes that will lead to a healthier community and healthier people. First, we are very grateful to receive this grant and be part of the ShapingNJ campaign. We believe in the mission of “preventing obesity and improving the health of populations that are at risk.” We also believe in partnerships, and Lincoln Park will not only utilize many different departments, such as health, recreation and public works, but will also be partnering with ShopRite of Lincoln Park and Montclair State University’s intern program.
Our grant proposal was two-fold. A biking/running/walking path will be installed in Lynn Park, centrally located in the heart of the community. It will allow children to safely ride their bikes, runners to measure their distance (1/2 mile in length), and walkers to enjoy a leisurely stroll in a halcyon setting. The second part of our initiative will focus on a food environment assessment. This assessment will look at the types of foods that are available in retail stores and food establishments in Lincoln Park. It will also assess factors that either contribute to or impede the access to healthier food options. The ultimate goal is to have better educated consumers and better options where they shop and dine!
We are only taking our first few steps on this journey, but already we have created a synergistic approach that will carry us through to our goals. Life is all about choices. Robert Frost wrote “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” We want people to take the other road that will make all the difference in their own lives.