On October 13, 2009, around 500 people gathered at the high school gym to hear the results of the Vitality Project and to see what’s next for Albert Lea. The results showed that on average, 3.1 years of life was added to the participants’ lives. More importantly was community participation in the projects. 700 people joined a walking moai, 1,000 people attended purpose workshops, cooking classes were well attended, and 1,700 people attended a neighborhood picnic.
A committee has been formed to take the concepts of the project forward intothe future. Plans include moais – walking, biking, dancing, horseback riding, etc. Cooking classes are available, additional Community Gardens have been tilled, three new purpose workshops will be offered, etc. If you’d like more information, contact the Community Development office. For more information on the initiative, visit the National Vitality Center website.
In addition to these plans for the community, the committee has opened a Vitality Center in the Jacobson Building. This facility will be available for community members and visitors to learn more about the project and to sign up for upcoming initiatives. The center includes a meeting room to be used as a gathering space and computers are available to take the Vitality Compass. Blue Zones related merchandise is also for sale.
The committee received $10,000 each from AARP and United Health Foundation to help fund this project. Albert Lea Medical Center also donated $27,000. A fundraising effort will be underway to raise the rest of the money needed to complete the project. If you have time, materials, or dollars you would like to contribute, please contact the City Manager’s Office, 507-377-4330.