Imagination comes to life when we take what we know, flip it on its end and see it in a whole new way.
Wiggle on broccoli, hop on a corn stalk, climb on a strawberry, and dance on a carrot. WIC children play while their parents
work out on cardio steppers nearby. You will see all
this on the front lawn of the McDowell Public Health Department in rural North Carolina. Enter the parking lot and fill your senses with a riot of colors and shapes enticing you to get out of your car and play, have fun, enjoy healthy foods and visit the farmers market.
This heart healthy play space was first envisioned by RPMHD Health Director, Jimmy Hines who believes that "health" is not a building or a department, but rather an attitude of well being. Play and family fun foster healthy behaviors leading to lifelong health and wellness. To send a strong visual message to local folks in rural WNC, Mr. Hines and the WIC team had play equipment and games custom made for the families served here in Marion.
The Heart Healthy Playground sends a powerful positive message to children and adults alike reminding everyone of the importance of healthy behaviors. WIC Staff use the Playground to enhance Child Health Learning Opportunities. It is part of the RPM Health District's Action Plan to increase opportunities for physical activity by enhancing the built environment. Plans are currently underway to connect the Health Department Playground with nearby the Greenway walking paths. The Greenway connects folks to the Senior Center, the YMCA, the McDowell Hospital and more.