ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Leaders from a national wellness project visited Douglas County Tuesday as one of several counties across the country applying to be the focus of the project's next initiative.
It’s called the Blue Zones Project, a community-wide well-being initiative.
Project organizers are considering Douglas County to receive assistance in improvements in environment, policy, and social networks.
Leaders spoke Tuesday morning at Umpqua Community College about why Douglas County is the perfect fit.
"The health statistics for Douglas County are a bit grim,” Douglas County Public Health executive director Bob Dannenhoffer says, “a strong reminder that significant problems can coexist with friendly people and beautiful spaces. Our county heath rankings show that we struggle with high rates of obesity; about 31 percent of our population is classified as obese."
Klamath County was one of Blue Zone Project's first sites.
Through the project, up to $400K a year in various improvements would be put into the community based on recommendations and proposals from community leaders in a number of different roles.
"Every community member has really showed up, not only in the application, but what they're already doing in the community,” Oregon Healthiest State program manager Sarah Foster says, “and what we think the Blue Zones Project can do is to really bring that all together in Douglas County, and increase impact from what you're already doing. You guys are a really engaged community."
This week, Blue Zone Project organizers are finishing up site visits for this year’s applicants of the program.
They say they should reach a decision on which county will be the next project site sometime in late fall.