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Kenmore group to focus on walkability

STAFF REPORTS


KENMORE -- The Kenmore Village Improvement Society plans to focus on walkability in helping to build a healthier community.

During the organization's April 9 meeting, Be Well Kenmore Committee Co-chairs Cheryl Rivard
and Philip Haberstro presented the results of the Healthy Community Survey that was conducted during February. The online survey asked residents to rate criteria such as the five most important factors for a healthy community, the top five items needed to improve residents' health, and health challenges residents are facing.

Rivard outlined results of the survey, to which she said 56 residents responded. The top five factors for a healthy community were ranked as walkable sidewalks (71 percent), low crime/safe neighborhoods (71 percent), clean environment (59 percent), parks and recreation (59 percent) and good schools (48 percent).

Concerning what is needed to improve residents' health, the top five responses were more activities for adults (46 percent), improved walkability (45 percent), more activities for children (38 percent), better communication about events (38 percent) and improved playgrounds (38 percent).

Rivard said that the survey was conducted to help guide the committee on which concerns to address. She also noted that residents ranked stress management (51 percent) and physical inactivity (47 percent) as their top health challenges. She added that given the results, walkability is a clear focus for the committee because getting people active will address many of the concerns that were raised.

"I think it will help us to zero in on the health issues that are important to the people here," she said.

Haberstro said that the survey will serve as a baseline in order to measure improvements as changes are made. "A more walkable Kenmore would be a wonderful thing," he said.

“Many studies have shown that for many people, physical activity like walking can help reduce anxiety and stress,” KVIS President Melissa Foster said. “Over the next few months, our Be Well Kenmore Committee will be developing ways to facilitate and encourage walking and stress reduction in our community. The survey is very helpful in showing us the best way to proceed to meet the needs of our community.”

For more information about KVIS, visit the group’s website at www.villageofkenmore.com or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KenmoreVillage.