The Cortez City Council recognizes that obesity and being overweight is a serious public health threat to the well-being of adults, children and families in Cortez. While individual lifestyle changes are necessary, individual effort alone is insufficient to combat obesity's rising tide. Significant societal and environmental changes are needed to support individual efforts to make healthier choices. To that end, Cortez adopted the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Cities and Towns resolution in June, 2013.
The City of Cortez will be making every effort to promote an active community by:
- prioritizing capital improvement projects to increase the opportunities for physical activity;
- working to ensure the City's built environment that encourages walking, biking, and other forms of physical activity;
- increasing opportunities for physical activity by providing/improving access and promoting parks, trails, sidewalks, recreational activities, etc.;
- addressing walking and biking connectivity between residential neighborhoods and schools, parks, recreational resources and retail;
- expanding community access to sports and recreation programs, through partnerships with local non-profit groups;
- expanding community access to indoor and outdoor facilities through joint use agreements with schools and/or other partners;
- ensuring new policies and regulation consider, encourage, or increase opportunities for physical activity.
The City of Cortez will also be making efforts to promote access to healthy foods by:
- including health goals and policies in support of both healthy, local food production and healthy food retailing in the Comprehensive Plan Update;
- considering incentives for projects that increase access to healthy foods for residents and employees;
- encouraging the siting of healthy food retailers, community gardens and farmers' markets to increase access to healthy food, including fresh fruits and vegetables;
- ensuring the availability of healthy food options at the Cortez Recreation Center;
- when possible and practical, support programs that utilize locally grown produce, including Farm to School;
- support initiatives that increase affordability and accessibility of healthy foods for lower income populations of Montezuma County;
- support efforts to assess the food economy and facilitate creation and adoption of a strategic food plan for Montezuma County, including the current efforts of the community Food Task Force;
- support nutrition education programs, such as Cooking Matters, which helps students help themselves by teaching them how to prepare healthy low-cost meals;
- provide planter beds to help facilitate community gardening and youth education, through programs like Playground Days at the Cortez Recreation Center.
The City of Cortez has in place an Employee Wellness Program that encourages employees to quit smoking, exercise and eat well, which saves costs to the taxpayers in lower insurance utilization.
In order to promote wellness within Cortez, and set an example for residents and businesses, the City of Cortez pledges to continue to advance workplace wellness initiatives that:
- promote the continued use participation in the Cortez Employee Wellness Program;
- continue to offer to employees and their families discounts at City-Owned facilities;
- partner with outside agencies, including Southwest Memorial Hospital and LiveWell Montezuma to provide employees with no-cost lunch seminars on healthy lifestyle information;
- Partner with outside agencies, including the County Health Nurse, to provide semi-annual health screenings to City employees;
- encourage healthy food options and City meetings, walking meetings and physical activity breaks for lengthy meetings.