Welcome to the city of St Joseph's weekly digital newsletter. City Link is your source for timely and relevant information from your local government.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Fall Clean Sweep

Tomorrow, October 1, starts the fall Clean Sweep. Clean Sweep is a program to assist St. Joseph residents in maintaining their property, however, it is not a substitute for regular solid waste (trash) collection. All yard waste, trash and appliances will be accepted from St. Joseph residents for two full days a year, free of charge. Some guidelines and restrictions apply.

The Importance of Neighborhood Parks

With the recent renovations at John Lucas Park at 19th and Sylvanie streets, it reminds us of the importance a park brings to a neighborhood. Unfortunately, not every neighborhood in St. Joseph has a park within walking distance. However, due to the size of our community and the geography, even if you aren’t within a 15- or 20-minute walk from a park, you are typically within a 10-minute drive. 

The value of parks in general involves the benefits of green space, socialization, provide event space, recreational activities, reduction in crime, interaction with nature and increased property values. They also have a positive impact on psychological well-being, development of children through multi-sensory experiences, provide inclusiveness and social equity. Parks provide green space for stormwater collection and in larger cities they serve as areas where urban heat is reduced, becoming a green oasis in the middle of asphalt and concrete. In most cases, you get all these benefits for free.

Every park is different and has different amenities, but the value remains the same. At a parks and recreation conference a few years ago, the keynote speaker asked the audience to close their eyes and recall a happy memory from their childhood. After opening our eyes, he asked for a show of hands from the people whose memory was in an outdoor setting. Approximately 80% of the hands in the room went up. This was a powerful moment for parks and recreation professionals. Obviously, not every person’s memory took place in a park, but the reality of most of them being outdoors was impactful for people who spend their adult lives trying to provide opportunities for people to have fun and achieve some level of enjoyment. 

The physical improvements at John Lucas Park involved new lighting, new athletic surfaces, and amenities which eliminated unnecessary fencing and shortening the remainder of necessary fencing. These changes are only the seed to the growth of benefits well beyond those physical improvements. 
Focusing on Your Children's Health

Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:
  • too much time spent being inactive
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
  • easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

To help ensure children have a healthy weight, energy balance is important. There are many things parents can do to help their children achieve a healthy weight and maintain it.

  • Be aware of your child’s growth. Learn how obesity is measured in children and use the CDC’s Child and Teen BMI Calculator to screen your child for potential weight issues.
  • Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats. Try serving more fruit and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
  • Make sure drinking water is always available as a no-calorie alternative to sugary beverages and limit juice intake.
  • Help children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. Find age appropriate activities.
  • Be a role model. Eat healthy meals and snacks and get the right amount of physical activity every day.
  • Learn what you can do to help shape a healthy school environment.

Taking Precautions Before a Disaster

In today’s society, we often look to whom is to blame first and then take corrective action second or maybe even third. Taking personal responsibility first and taking corrective action prior to a calamity is major part of the fire department's mission. If you provide care for family and home, make sure you are taking steps to be proactive.

Here are some tips to keep your home, family and even place of employment safe so things don't end with an emergency response call.
  • Major appliances need to be serviced or at least inspected on an annual basis by a qualified technician. 
  • Forced air heating will require a new filter monthly. 
  • Water heaters should be given a close inspection. 
  • Cooking appliances and clothes dryers need to be inspected, cleaned and free of grease and lint. 
  • Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. 
  • Avoid placing combustibles too close to a heat source.
  • Have your fireplace flue cleaned in preparation for the season. 
  • Have alternative heating source appliances thoroughly reviewed. Also make sure it is out of the way so it can not be tipped or hit by people and pets.
Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Collection

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics event Saturday, October 16, from 9am-3pm, at the MacArthur Drive parking lot (Remington Nature Center). During this event, residents are asked to remain in their vehicles while staff unloads all materials. If you have any questions, please contact the landfill at 253-1120.

(816) 271-5300