Whether you live in Calgary or Cold Lake, Medicine Hat or Morinville,
here are 12 things you can do to make your community healthier.
Giving time to an organization that helps others is a way to close
the gap between those who have and those who don’t. And you’ll
benefit from the warm feeling that comes from helping others.
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EATING
Healthy food is one of the foundations of a healthy community,
says Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta’s senior medical officer of health.
If your city, town or neighbourhood lacks affordable, healthy
food, residents can look into setting up a community kitchen,
where the cost of food and facilities are shared, or a community
garden, where families can grow their own fresh produce.
WORK TO REMOVE HAZARDS
If your neighbourhood has a dangerous intersection near to where
you live or work, get together with other concerned neighbours
and raise the issue with your local police, fire department and
town council, Dr. Predy suggests. A stop sign, better lighting in a
park, or an adult crossing guard near a school can go a long way
toward making you feel safer in your neighbourhood.
ORGANIZE A LITTER PICKUP
If you’ve noticed litter in your local parks and playgrounds,
coordinate a cleanup. Pick an afternoon, buy boxes of garbage
bags and rubber gloves and spread the word with flyers, or
through your local schools.
START AN EXERCISE GROUP
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and
ParticipACTION recommend adults do at least 150 minutes of
moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) each week.
Pick a night or two each week and invite friends, and friends
designated walking or cycling paths, talk to your town council
about developing recreational trails.
UPGRADE A PLAYGROUND
If the playground at your local school or park has had the same
equipment for years, talk to the group responsible for the
head up a fundraising drive or approach local businesses about
Make an appointment to donate blood at the nearest
Canadian Blood Services clinic (go to bloodservices.ca or call
1-888-2-DONATE [36-6283]). Donations take only about
an hour and one donation can help save up to three lives,
according to Canadian Blood Services. If there is no permanent
clinic nearby, talk to your local community centre about
bringing in a mobile clinic.
Whether your new neighbours are from another neighbourhood,
another town, across the country or halfway around the world,
make an effort to make them feel welcome in their new home.
Drop by with a small housewarming gift, information on services
available in the community and your phone number, in case they
MAKE JOB SEARCHES EASIER
and distribute it to your local library, community centre, high
school—anywhere that has public Internet access and where
workopolis.com are a good start to such lists.
REACH OUT TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS
If you don’t already know your neighbours, take a few minutes
to chat next time you see them. Block parties, backyard
barbecues and kids’ play groups and play dates are great ways
to get neighbours together.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
Go through your bookshelf and set aside materials in good
condition to donate to your public library—check their website
first to verify their donation policy. Or talk to the children’s
librarian about organizing a read-a-thon, with the proceeds
going to the library.
LOOK INTO NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
Find out if your community has an established neighbourhood
watch program. Neighbourhood watches encourage people to
keep an eye out for suspicious activity in their communities and
report any illegal activities. If your community doesn’t have a
program, talk to your local police about starting one or consider
becoming a Block Parent ( blockparent.ca).