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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureMarch 22, 2019
(519 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. – A national health foundation has named an obesity reduction and
health program supported by the Chicot County Cooperative Extension as one of 12 finalists
for national recognition.
Lake Village, Arkansas, home to about 2,300 Arkansans, was recently named as one of
12 finalists throughout the country for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture
of Health Prize. The $25,000 prize is awarded annually to communities working to transform
their neighborhoods, schools and other civic institutions into healthier environments.
According to its website, the foundation chooses both finalists and national prize
winners based on six criteria:
Jennifer Conner, regional obesity reduction program associate for the University of
Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the Lake Village community had taken
numerous steps to meet each of the award’s criteria, including the expansion of a
community garden and the addition of a second farmers’ market, establishing a free
fitness center, the zoning of a “creative corridor” for artwork and much more.
“As a native of Lake Village, I am both excited and proud that the community has come
together to address the issues we face as a rural area,” Connor said. “We want the
next generation to have a quality place to live and play. We have not only improved
our natural assets, but created new assets that will have a long-term impact for Lake
Conner said work by the Cooperative Extension Service work with the city began in
2015. The work is grant funded through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and expressed through two programs: SPAN, the State Physical Activity and Nutrition
program administered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; and ArDROP,
the Arkansas Delta Region Obesity Project. The Lake Village program has also received
guidance or assistance fromthe Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care and WinRock International.
The program operates as the Delta Consortium for Arts and Innovation.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said the 2019 winners will be announced in the
Extension and healthy habits
The Cooperative Extension Service’s participation in Lake Village’s obesity reduction
work is just one of many of the service’s efforts throughout Arkansas to reduce obesity
and enable everyone to live a healthier life. Through its Family and Consumer Science
section, the extension service delivers health and nutrition education, exercise and
stress management programs, as well as personal finance information.
As part of ArDROP, the Cooperative Extension Service works with community partners
to address obesity in St. Francis, Lee, Mississippi and Phillips counties. The CDC
selected these counties because they all have obesity rates of more than 40 percent.
The ArDROP project will continue through September 2023.
To learn about obesity reduction efforts in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com