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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Morrisville Council Approves Active Kids Strategic Plan

Last month, the Morrisville Town Council approved and adopted its new Active Kids Strategic Plan, developed with the input of children and youth in the community, as well as adults. Data from Youth Thrive’s Wake County Youth Well-being Profile (2015) shows that physical activity levels drop significantly for students from elementary school through high school, with 34% of sixth graders and as much as 67% of 11th graders not getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity/day.

With 28% of Morrisville’s population aged 19 or younger, the town wanted to learn how it could support active youth and families. Funding from the John Rex Endowment’s Wake County Healthy Communities grant enabled Morrisville to do develop the strategic plan to continue its investments in pedestrian, bicycle and park infrastructure and prioritize opportunities to do so that would focus on active youth.

Next Steps

Morrisville children and youth provided input into the Strategic Plan through a variety of activities.

“The completion of the strategic plan now kick starts a series of actions to foster a more active community,” said Kari Grace, Planner II for the Town of Morrisville. The plan outlines 11 action steps for implementation over a five-year period that would involve partners and the community as a whole. These range from capacity and funding to promotion and education, from facilities and from programming to active transportation and greenways, trails and nature play.

“In talking to a range of different aged children and parents, we found that they were interested in and recognized a variety of opportunities that influence physical activity, including social interaction, family bonding, nature preservation and learning, demonstrating the multi-faceted and interconnected factors that support physical activity and healthy lifestyles,” Grace said.

“Having this plan in place gives us a roadmap to identify and engage partners, inform investment decisions in parks and recreation facilities, and influence transportation facility improvements led by Morrisville,” Grace said. “We’ll coordinate all of our efforts for active kids with our upcoming Comprehensive Transportation Plan update and our Parks and Recreation Master Plan update.”

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