ABERDEEN, SD (Dakota News Now) – Aberdeen has received the Wellmark Community ‘Healthy City’ award for the 2nd year in a row, thanks to initiatives to improve health, the Hub City was completed in 2022.
In reward awarded to communities that improve the health of residents through projects that help citizens eat better, move more, and feel better.
Aberdeen has listed seven projects in its application, including a new traffic light at Lawson Street and Melgaard Road, which will help both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
“The city has grown a lot, and it’s grown on the south side of town, towards the high school. There’s a lot of traffic in the new neighborhood there,” said traffic control foreman Michael Toml.
About a mile of sidewalk was added to improve access to 6th Avenue near the shopping district.
“It took a while. It was actually a goat path, a path that went through the creek that people used so much to get to the shopping areas and things outside. “To increase walkability and handicap accessibility, they put it all over the place. added a sidewalk because you might need it,” Toml said.
Aberdeen has built pickleball fields and a new softball complex at Manor Park to increase recreational options. They also made sure that healthy food options were available.
“The concessions that were made available at the softball complex, they added some healthy menus at the request of our group,” said Lisa Anderson, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the projects listed in the appendices were not city-sponsored, but were considered projects that would improve the health of the Hub City.
“Other things that helped us win the award were adding unlimited fruit and vegetable bars to all Aberdeen public schools, and then the city’s Avera Addiction Care Center distributing 1,500 ‘Smoking Quit Kits’ like smoking cessation kits,” he said. Anderson.
The community received $5,000 for the award, and members of the health and wellness committee already have an idea of what they want to use it for.
“The tactics that we want to do to improve Aberdeen, that money goes back there, some of the things that we still want to do in the future. Food insecurity is one of the things that we’ve discussed a lot. We kind of “We have a food desert on the west side of town, so we’re trying to figure out how we can get them healthy stuff,” Anderson said.
Other South Dakota communities that earned the title of “Healthy City” this year include Martin and Sioux Falls.
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