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Davis Journal

Fruit Heights earns the Healthy Utah Community designation

Jun 06, 2022 01:33PM ● By Peri Kinder

Fruit Heights City has been awarded the Healthy Utah Community designation, presented by Get Healthy Utah and the Utah League of Cities and Towns. The city’s yearlong effort identified ways to provide residents access to mental fitness, active lifestyles, and healthy eating by working together as a community.

The Fruit Heights City Parks and Trails Coalition was formed to come up with ideas that would encourage residents to add healthy activities to their daily lives. 

“We tried to put in place some plans of what the city would like to see happen over the years,” Fruit Heights City Manager Brandon Green said. “The requirements weren’t difficult but they challenged us a little bit, especially being a small community.”

The coalition identified several programs it wants to implement including a community garden, getting involved with farmers’ markets, organizing a garden surplus spot where residents can pick up or drop-off homegrown produce, connection with the Utah State extension and even providing healthy snacks at the Kaysville Theater.

Stakeholders in the community would like to see better trail signage, social media posts about healthy living options and a free mental health workshop for youth. The community has already shown support for the initiative when more than 300 residents helped clean up Gailey Trail at Nicholls Park.

Julia Busche, former Fruit Heights city councilmember, spearheaded the coalition. Although her city council term ended in January, she is excited to see what happens as the healthy programs move forward.

“As a city we’d already completed a lot of the things that we needed to receive this designation. We have a really great existing trail system with a lot of community volunteerism that connects a lot of portions of our city,” Busche said. “A couple of years ago, we partnered with local businesses and Davis High to get the Fruit Loops bike trail mountain biking system.”

Partnerships with local businesses and community leaders will help encourage healthy living in the city. Yoga classes and mental health counseling will be promoted and a support group for elderly residents will help them feel included and valued. 

A joint effort between the Utah League of Cities and Towns and Get Healthy Utah was the impetus for the Healthy Utah Community designation. Only 30 Utah cities have been given the Healthy Utah Community designation, and only three in Davis County: Fruit Heights, Woods Cross and Centerville.

“We are working towards being a healthy community and promoting healthy lifestyles,” Green said. “[This designation] says we have done things that are required to receive the award. Every three years we have to reapply for this and keep showing we are working in the various areas we identified as being important and keep promoting that lifestyle.”l