February 2015 - Parks & Recreation - 40

substantial technical support from the
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
(https://host.healthiergeneration.org).
The Alliance has conducted three staff
trainings thus far to educate staff on
using their Healthy Out-of-School Time
framework and has provided them with
countless additional resources. Capital
Area Food Bank's Kids Café has been
another essential partner in Arlington's
success and continues to work with
Arlington to improve the health of its
offerings. Above all, Arlington's success
is due to the strong leadership for creating a culture of health and the support
from the staff directly implementing
the standards. A staff member from
Lubber Run Community Center, Myesha Taylor, saw the cool FitArlington
blender bike at an event and brought it
to her site so the kids could pedal their

way to a smoothie and learn about the
benefits of eating more fruits. Arlington
also held a special event on National
Food Day as a kickoff event to make
nutrition and physical activity fun and
inform parents of the commitment
(http://parks.arlingtonva.us/2014/10/
fitarlington-celebrates-food-day). The
event brought together kids from all
three sites to taste different apple varieties, play active games with the DJ and
engage in a cooking demonstration.
Arlington hopes to expand this initiative to more sites and continue implementing more national healthy eating
and physical activity standards and best
practices in the upcoming year.
Montgomery County, Maryland,
introduced the HEPA standards to
site-level leaders in five of their largest youth-serving programs, which

reached more than 8,000 young people in 2014. Through this process, they
established a new summer program,
Food, Fun and Fitness, which pairs
drop-in physical activity with free
meals for children under 18 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGicMcmPwk0).
Montgomery County estimates that
meals served through USDA meal programs have a yearly positive economic
impact on families of more than $600
per child for those taking full advantage of free opportunities. Additionally, they have restructured their organization to establish a new position that
will coordinate health and wellness
efforts for the department and established a formal agreement with the
Alliance for a Healthier Generation to
help support their efforts to implement
the HEPA standards.
As Arlington and Montgomery
Counties have demonstrated in 2014,
park and recreation agencies are
positively impacting youth by providing healthier food options and
increased opportunities for physical
activity through implementation of
the HEPA standards. If your agency hasn't taken the pledge, there is
still plenty of time to get started on
this important work. Take the pledge
today at www.nrpa.org/committohealth. As we celebrate Year One, we
look forward to four more years and
the success we will have together!
Kellie May is NRPA's Senior Program
Manager (kmay@nrpa.org).

38	 Parks & Recreation

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February 2015 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2015 - Parks & Recreation

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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2016
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2015
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