NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 74

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT Worth also enacted a comprehensive smoking ordinance, banning smoking in bars and bingo halls—a key step toward a healthier community. While there is more work ahead for Fort Worth, the changes that have already been made are not only encouraging – they are also transformational. so much of their lives at work. Fort Worth’s Blue Zones Project now includes some 100 worksites, including key regional employers such as Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Texas Christian University, as well as Texas Health Resources. By initiating changes such as establishing walking circuits, redesigning menus at on-site dining facilities, adding quiet spaces for downshifting and meditation, and hosting workshops to help employees identify their purpose, meaningful change is being made as an extension of their corporate culture. “For businesses that provide employee insurance coverage, the wellness component in corporate health care is indispensable to manage costs, maintain high productivity and improve employee morale,” Berdan noted. “As Fort Worth builds a healthier workforce, this attracts and retains both business and top talent to our area and further improves our quality of life. From a community perspective, these efforts can lower healthcare costs, improve productivity and boost national recognition for strong quality of life.” Working with area schools, Blue Zones Project has played a role in walking school bus efforts, implemented purpose workshops in area high schools and supported school garden initiatives. In 2017, a partnership of Blue Zones Project, the City of Fort Worth, and Fort Worth ISD resulted in a $3.2 million grant that will fund infrastructure improvements at eight area campuses to make it safer for kids to walk to school. This spring, Fort “Real, meaningful change will take many years to achieve,” Berdan said. “There will always be a need for acute care, but what we hope and expect will happen is a reduction in the incidence of chronic conditions that are related to people making unhealthy choices. Our goal is a noticeably healthier, happier community, where people live longer lives and have more life in their years. With so many programs aimed at community wellness, North Texas is a great place to live, work, play and age. The Blue Zones Project continues to have a positive effect on Fort Worth. PlayGrand Adventures With the greatest of ease Do you remember that feeling of flying through the air on a swing when you were a kid? You were your own pilot, totally in charge and free to swing as high as you wanted (and maybe even higher than your big sister dared to go). The City of Grand Prairie believes that every kid – whether she zooms through a playground on two legs or in a wheelchair – deserves the opportunity to soar. 72 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 Grand Prairie’s vision of inclusion is taking shape in the form of PlayGrand Adventures, North Texas’ first inclusive playground of its magnitude. The ten-acre park will feature a series of playground “pods” and adventure areas ranging from modern, high intensity and colorful to rustic, peaceful and nature-themed. This unique concept is designed to enhance sensory, physical, cognitive and social interaction skills of people of all ages and abilities. The first phase of PlayGrand Adventures is expected to open summer 2019 in Grand Prairie’s EpicCentral Park near the wildly successful Epic Waters indoor water park and The Epic, a newly opened mega-recreation center. Phase One of PlayGrand Adventures features Adventure Zone and Play Hill pods for all levels of activity, including play equipment for sliding, climbing, swinging and spinning. Future pods will include Adventure Hill, Tranquil Adventures, Exploration Zone and Adventure Stars. We can’t wait to come out and play. SUMMER 2018 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG 73