Healthier Van Buren

By | August 10, 2018 10:28 am

Madyson Young is a supporter of the Van Buren Farmers Market. She was a with family and friends as the growing number of vendors who shared quality, locally grown produce at the market. Come on down this Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon, to enjoy the selection and fellowship.

By Hansel Moore

There is a group of individuals who meet monthly to evaluate and plan ways to improve the overall health of Van Buren residents.   As part of the Healthier Tennessee initiative, Van Buren is a designated community that is active in its mission of “ working together to improve the health and well being of the places we call home.”

Change does not always come easy for some people. There are many hard habits to break, but change does not have to be instantly drastic to have an impact. Actually, slower changes often have the most lasting results.   For example, weight loss does not have to be 5 pounds per week. No one gains it that fast, and few would be able to shed the weight in a healthy manner that rapidly. Health habit changes require determination and repetition to learn a new behavior.

The healthier Van Buren group assists in coordinating local and state resources to help educate the community on healthy lifestyle choices and local health options.

  • During the July meeting Mayor Greg Wilson announced that a $25,000 grant has been approved for the construction of community raised beds. In conjunction with Chris Brinkley from the 4-H program, these funds will be utilized to help educate school-aged gardeners on planting and cultivating techniques. Produce from the garden will be shared with Van Buren County senior residents and potentially sold at the new Farmers Market.
  • An agreement has been concluded to provide produce from the Van Buren County Mennonite community for sale at the newly completed farmers market. Access to the structures is available to all who want to sell items 8 a.m.-noon. For the rest of the year, there is no charge to vendors, and space is based on a “first come, first served basis.”
  • The Fall Creek Falls Junior Ranger program has been successful throughout the summer. Many of the events have had 46-50 youngsters in attendance.   Jacob Young, park manager, said that statistical data indicates overall park attendance is down, but visitor numbers continue to be 120,000-150,000 per month. The scheduled demolition date for the Fall Creek Falls Inn was Aug. 4, and the renovations of the nature center should be completed by Aug. 15.
  • Health improvement grants will be utilized to place water fill stations throughout the school systems, per Kelly Lewis, coordinated school health director. Accompanying education will also be included with the grant utilization.
  • Healthier Van Buren was represented at the Van Buren Homecoming as the sponsor of the water slide and children’s games.
  • For the Van Buren Homecoming day, American Legion Post 207 partnered with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System to provide information about veteran crisis information, homeless program, women’s health program, and other veterans’ resources.
  • Nov. 15 will be the Jobs and Education Fair at the sports annex of the Van Buren High School. Mark the date.

If you are interested in sharing information with the Healthier Van Buren team or have any questions about local programs, contact Kelly Lewis at (931) 946-7371.


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