City of Arcata Press Release
FIRST LADY RECOGNIZES ARCATA’S RECREATION PROGRAMS
First Lady Michelle Obama is honoring Arcata’s Recreation Division and other community programs from across the country for efforts to reverse America’s childhood obesity epidemic.
The First Lady’s Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties initiative enlists local elected officials to create policies that put young children on the path to a healthy future. Those policies translate to programs that help parents get informed about healthy choices; provide healthier foods in schools and during afterschool or summer activities; ensure that every family has access to healthy, affordable food; and help children reduce screen time and be more physically active.
Arcata earned a total of 13 Let’s Move! medals for providing free summer lunches and snacks to community youth at Redwood Day Camp and Camp Odyssey and providing families with newborn to 5-year-old children with nutritional resources and support services as part of its Arcata Play Center program. Convenient access to the City’s impressive array of 30 open spaces totaling 106 acres of community parkland and open space also played a role in Arcata’s Let’s Move! success. Arcata’s recreational lands include neighborhood and community parks; over 15 playgrounds; nine athletic fields; special use and linear parks for tennis, skateboarding, bocce, pickle ball, and greenways; non-motorized trail systems; family picnic areas; the downtown Plaza; the Bayside Park Community Supported Agriculture farm and community garden; and undeveloped open space.
Arcata has been invited to participate in a White House celebration and discussion of the Let’s Move! initiative next week. Councilmember Mark Wheetley and Recreation Division Manager Heather Stevens will represent the City at the event.
“We are honored to be recognized by the First Lady's Initiative,” says Arcata Councilmember Mark Wheetley. “The Arcata community is committed to investing in the well-being of our kids and seniors and I am so proud of the dedication of City staff in both our Recreation and Parks Divisions who work so hard everyday to offer opportunities to exercise, play and learn how to stay healthy. We will continue to create community through people, parks and programs.”
Wheetley was one of the founding local elected officials in the League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy’s Healthy Eating Active Living campaign. In 2008, then Mayor Wheetley enrolled the City in the campaign, further developing Arcata’s focus on encouraging better health through nutrition and exercise.
For more information about the Let’s Move! initiative and Arcata’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.