We all want to be healthy but that can be hard if the right supports aren't in place. We know that, for many community members, it can be hard to be physically active when places like streets, sidewalks, and parks aren't easy, safe, and enjoyable to use.
Light the District is a project born out of the International District Healthy Communities Coalition's (IDHCC) long-term commitment to strengthen communities' capacity to sustain health and wellness through awareness, collaboration, commitment, and advocacy. IDHCC continuously collaborates with partners such as those involved in Healthy Here (Presbyterian Center for Community Health, Bernalillo County Community Health Council, Mid-Region Council of Governments, and First Choice Community Healthcare) as well as other stakeholder organizations such as East Central Ministries, New Life Homes, Endorphin Power Company, and Sunrise Interfaith Church in projects related to increasing physical activity through strategies that address community safety. Several months ago we designed a plan that will quickly address issues about safety related to the built environment in the International District recognizing that modifications to road and infrastructure tend to be more long-term, complex process. Poor lighting was identified as one of the biggest priorities for many residents of the area - and identified as a risk factor for crashes, pedestrian fatalities, and overall community safety.
The Presbyterian Center for Community Health, as part of the Healthy Here initiative, has partnered with the International District Healthy Communities Coalition (IDHCC), to begin the “Light the District” project. This project engages community members and other stakeholders in planning and implementing an action-oriented approach to increase safety in the International District. On November 5, 2016, Presbyterian, IDHCC, and other partners hosted an Action Kickoff for a Safe Community at Van Buren Middle School.