(Atlantic) Blue Zones officials recently notified Atlantic that its application to be chosen as a Blue Zones demonstration site will not advance to the site visit level at this time. Blue Zones officials noted that ten smaller Iowa communities have been identified for site visits in the next few months.
Blue Zones did not give details at this time about the reason that Atlantic was not chosen, but intend to visit Atlantic sometime in the summer to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of its overall application. Bethany Rogers, Cass County Wellness Coordinator, observed that the ten communities that were chosen all ranked higher than Atlantic in citizen votes. “Atlantic’s current percentage of citizens voting is 15.48%,” Bethany commented, “Blue Zones stated early on that citizen commitment would be important in their choice.”
The Atlantic Blue Zones team will meet with state Blue Zones officials in the summer, and the local team still plans to implement chosen components of Blue Zones, based upon local capacity and technical assistance available from the state. Atlantic intends to reapply, if the opportunity arises in the future.
Rogers reminds residents that voting remains an important component of the project. “If you haven’t voted and are willing to make a personal commitment to improving your health and the health of Atlantic, it is important that you log on today and vote to support Atlantic.” Voting will provide access for residents to ongoing information about health topics and local activities. Residents can visit www.bluezonesproject.com to vote for Atlantic.
Also, a Facebook page has been established for the Atlantic Blue Zones project. Log on to Facebook and search for Atlantic Blue Zones.