Chicago’s Homan Square, Lafollette and Russell Square Parks Selected to Participate in Community Health and Wellness Program This Summer
Three Chicago parks have been selected to participate in a comprehensive, multifaceted community health and wellness program jointly administered by the Chicago Park District and the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), an obesity-focused public health outreach program housed at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
The selected parks, representing the city’s south and west sides, include Homan Square Park in North Lawndale, Lafollette Park in Austin and Russell Square Park in South Chicago, CLOCC and Lurie Children’s announced on March 3, 2020. The initiative will be under way during the summer months of 2020 and will focus on the parks’ summer camp programming, as well as local community events in and around the parks. The effort is funded by the Kohl’s Cares Foundation ® and represents a continuation of Kohl’s 20-year partnership with Lurie Children’s.
For the first time in the project’s three years, individual parks were able to apply to take part in the initiative. While already serving as hubs for physical activity and community wellness, the Homan Square, Lafollette and Russell Square Parks will now benefit from enhanced nutrition and healthy lifestyle education provided by CLOCC and trained Park District staff. CLOCC will integrate the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® healthy lifestyle message into the Park District’s “CampWell” summer camp nutrition and physical activity curriculum. A health and wellness promotional campaign will extend the reach of 5-4-3-2-1 Go! into the community surrounding the park. Lurie Children’s Injury Prevention & Research Center will facilitate playground safety and distribute free bicycle helmets in all three neighborhoods. Outreach to local childcare locations will ensure the inclusion of younger children and their families in the healthy lifestyle education programs.
The three parks were chosen based on demonstrated need and willingness to improve healthy and active living through educational and environmental interventions. To amplify the health messaging beyond their park borders and benefit the community, the parks have engaged local community partners, including Family Focus (North Lawndale), West Side Health Authority (Austin) and Claretian Associates (South Chicago).
“Evidence tells us that children and their families are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors if they are provided with clear and consistent guidance,” said Adam Becker, CLOCC Executive Director. “This partnership with the Park District and local community partners not only helps promote the 5-4-3-2-1 Go! message, but also helps integrate the message’s healthy behaviors into our communities in a meaningful way.”
CLOCC’s 5-4-3-2-1 Go! message recommends daily goals for food and physical activity behaviors: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 4 servings of water, 3 servings of low fat dairy, 2 or less hours of recreational screen time and 1 or more hours of physical activity. For more information, visit clocc.net.
Since 2001, Kohl’s has committed more than $14 million to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital through its philanthropic program, Kohl’s Cares®. When customers purchase Kohl’s Cares merchandise, 100% of net profit is donated to support charitable organizations nationwide. Since the program’s inception in 2000, nearly $375 million has been raised.