Living Well in Coppell is continuing the discussion of making the city a Blue Zone. During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the group presented the idea to the council.
The Blue Zone project is a nationally known project that identifies areas and city characteristics that lead to long life and healthy living.
Living Well in Coppell brought up the Blue Zone topic last year and requested the council to consider taking on the program. At the time, the council decided to research the Blue Zone program to fully understand it and how it would tie in with the city.
On Tuesday, the council indicated it wasn’t sure becoming a Blue Zone would be the right move for the city.
Ed Guignon, co-chair of Living Well in Coppell, said the idea came about from the Vision 2030 imitative. The group desires to have Coppell recognized as a health and wellness community, which would tie into one of its main goals to make healthy living an integral part of everyday life.
Guignon said the Blue Zone program is a long-term sustainable program that would help the city’s vision of being a healthy city.
“We wanted to broaden the impact and fulfill some of those (Vision) 2030 and 2040 goals,” he said.
Guignon said the program focuses on making the healthy choice the easy choice. It consists of several categories of healthy living including nutrition, stress reduction, strong social networking and interaction, family focus among others.
The program would be funded through private stakeholders such as nonprofit hospitals, and resources for the program could potentially come from the many programs Living Well in Coppell is running.
“Our idea is this would help define Coppell in the future, it would give us immediate state-wide recognition, and it could attract new businesses and residents who have like minded thinking in this area,” Guignon said.
Councilman Gary Roden expressed concerned with the city’s commitment to the program through funding and staff commitment.
“We tend to say we’re not going to add additional FTE (full-time employees), but we continue to add programs and eventually staff can’t do a good job with everything or something has to give,” Roden said.
Councilwoman Brianna Hinajosa-Smith said the council considered becoming a Blue Zone in 2012. She said at the time, city leaders were trying to determine the success rate of the program and who would be able to run it.
“What we determined is we’re actually a very healthy city, but there is room for improvement and the question is what is that gap, where do we need to go and what do we need to do,” she said. “That may be Blue Zone or that may not be, but I just feel like having talked about it for a long time … I’m not comfortable jumping in right now.”
The council tasked Living Well in Coppell to obtain more data to bring forward a solid recommendation for it to consider.