In November 2017 I met with nine members of Champions for Change in Sanger, California, to discuss planning for a healthier city.
Champions for Change is a network of families that focuses on healthy eating and nutrition. The program is sponsored by the Fresno County’s Public Health Department, with funding through the California Department of Health.
The families have expressed an interest in learning more about planning and how to make the City of Sanger a healthier community. I made a one-hour presentation to discuss the concept of a general plan, the details of the planning process, and how healthy eating and active living can be incorporated into the Sanger General Plan.
After the presentation, I had the members do a mapping exercise of either positive or not-so-positive examples of healthy eating and active living in their council member district.
Most cited the importance of parks but said lack of access or the perception of safety issues prevented them from fully using them. Ideas from the group included better street lighting, installation of sidewalks where none exist, control of loose dogs, and installation of playground equipment.
The attendees expressed their desire to be involved in groups advising the city as it updates its General Plan.
It was a fun and engaging time. After the presentation and exercise, staff from the Department of Public Health, who also attended, made a demonstration meal that was both nutritional and delicious.
Top image: APA Ambassador Keith Woodcock with Sanger residents at the Champions for Change activity. Photo courtesy Keith Woodcock.
About the Author
Keith Woodcock, AICP CEP, is formerly a city planner with the city of Sanger, California. He is currently a student in the Doctor of Public Administration program at West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania.