Mayor Henry's Newsletter - September 2017
Parks, community collaboration and the Mayor's Walking Challenge
Baseball complex at new Midway Park opened earlier this month
With summer wrapped up and fall in full gear, I’m excited to see some projects completed.

We celebrated the opening of the baseball field complex in Midway Park with a ribbon cutting and baseball games. Babe Ruth baseball players were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to play ball. There are four fields and the set-up is fantastic. You can find more photos from the event here.
The 52-acre park, located on Midway Road near the intersection of Smith Avenue, will be built in phases. Phase 1A will include a shelter, playground and pickleball courts. Construction will begin in the late spring and is scheduled to wrap up by Aug. 31, 2018.
It was also exciting to watch youngsters play on the new equipment at Indian Creek Park, thanks to a generous donation from Republic Services of Idaho. I was happy to contribute my $2,000 winnings from the annual Mayor’s Walking Challenge to help cover the additional costs for this project. 
Mayor's School Walking Challenge begins Sunday
Speaking of walking, I'll be joining dozens of Idaho mayors in a friendly walking competition that could bring $1,000 to our community. The Mayor’s School Walking Challenge is a fun annual event that builds teamwork, enhances school and city pride and increases public awareness of the impact walking — and other simple activities — have on good health. Starting Oct. 1, I’ll be logging my steps each day and if I average 10,000 steps per day through the month of October, I will receive $1,000 to contribute toward a city park or elementary school project that encourages physical activity.

I appreciate this annual event, sponsored by High Five, the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, St. Luke’s Health System and the Idaho Dairy Council.

This will be my fourth year – the first year I won the contest and received $5,000 that we used to convert the Lloyd Square parking lot into grass.

But this annual challenge is not about money. It is all about getting kids to exercise more, and I must say, spending time on the track or in the gym with young students is priceless. I love their energy and their honesty, but I see also a side of their lives that I would not otherwise understand.

One little girl asked me if I liked her shoes.

“Yes,” I told her. But her response almost knocked me flat.

“I don’t like them because they make too much noise when I go see my dad in jail.” 
Healthy Impact Nampa Coalition collaboration breeds success
It’s that cold, hard reality that makes me wish we had a magic wand to wave and fix everything.

But we can’t. Earlier this summer, the City Council rejected a proposal to fund two vans and a driver with Community Development Block Grant funds to help people on the northside of town get to the grocery store so they could have better access to healthy food options.

This followed the Healthy Conditions Assessment that Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation funded earlier this year. As I mentioned in my State of the City Address in March, the report focused on three areas that need attention: affordable housing, public transportation and access to healthy food.

And I asked then: What role does city government play in addressing these issues versus private sector participation? Clearly government can’t solve these matters, but collaboration could make a difference.

So, this summer, I decided to pull together a wide variety of people who work hard to improve the lives of people in Nampa. Jean Mutchie, St. Luke’s Children’s Program manager, and Sheri Ainsworth, Saint Alphonsus director of Mission Integration and Community Health & Well Being, are leading the group and setting the course.
The Healthy Impact Nampa Coalition has had three meetings. We’ve had some inspiring successes, thanks to private entities willing to step up.

Remember those vans that got rejected? Well, this Coalition found a way to try it out with private assistance. Thanks to Boise Rescue Mission and Bill Roscoe, an 18-passenger van and driver will transport Northside residents to a nearby grocery store for a three-month period. St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus are each donating $2,500 to fund this trial effort. Stay tuned for details.

The Boise Food Market brought its mobile market four Tuesdays in September over to the Northside. Private donations are funding the trial period in September and May to see what kind of interest there is. 
Mari Ramos is the coordinator of a new Family Community Resource Center at Snake River Elementary School. She told coalition members what the Resource Center is doing and what some of the needs are that the community could help provide. I visited her room Friday and I was overwhelmed to see what the Nampa School District is doing with this effort. Here’s a short video from that event when the Idaho Food Bank stocked the food pantry.

If you want a good understanding of what the Healthy Impact Nampa Coalition is doing, you can visit this w eb page . It also includes information on ways you can help and provides resources for those who need some assistance. 
Pictured Left to Right: Nampa School District Director of Secondary Education Scott Parker, Idaho Food Bank President/CEO Karen Vauk, Idaho Food Bank Program Director Jackie Yarbrough, Mayor Bob Henry, Snake River Elementary Principal Karla Reynolds and Family Community Resource Center Coordinator Maribel Ramos. 
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