Monthly Archives: October 2012

19th Street Construction Around Overpath Groundbreaking This Thursday!!


Students Work with Mayor to Inspire Safety Improvements

Student Inspired Upgrades at the 19th Street Overpass Come to Life with Lauderhill Mayor and Commission Support

Lauderhill City Officials and Y Teens to Celebrate $420,000 Safety Improvement

Project on Thursday, November 1st at 4:00p.m. at the Lauderhill Middle School Overpass Access 

LAUDERHILL, FL– On Thursday, November 1st  at 4:00 pm students from the YMCA representing the Live Well Lauderhill Community Action Plan will join Mayor Kaplan, Vice Mayor Benson, City Commissioners, YMCA CEO, and other City Leaders to celebrate the official commencement of a $420,000 “19th Street Greenway Project” at the school’s overpass entrance behind Lauderhill Middle School – 1901 NW 49 Avenue. (Event Parking is on the Lauderhill Middle School Ball Field. The entrance to the field is on the service road located on the west side of NW 49 Avenue one block south of the NW 21st Street and NW 49th Avenue 4 way stop – the service road is between water plant and ball fields.)

The “19th Street Greenway Project” which is funded in part by the Florida Department of Transportation Local Agency Program, will include lighting, wider sidewalks and crime deterrent environmental landscaping. The City’s implementation of improvements is a result of the student-led initiatives to voice safety concerns about walking to and from their school and their Lauderhill Community YMCA. The teens have been meeting with the Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Officials since January to develop solutions that will improve safety around the student’s walkway.

Lauderhill Police Reports documented 266 criminal incidents on the Overpass in 2011

  • Approximately 80% of the students who attend Lauderhill Middle School live on the West Side of the Turnpike and should be able to use the Overpass to travel between their school and home.
  • Many do not use the pedestrian walkway due to the unsafe conditions.
  • Many students do not stay after school at the Y for wellness and enrichment programs because of the danger of traveling home after dark. The unsafe conditions of the pedestrian walkway decreases physical activity and increases obesity in students.

The project was inspired by middle and high school students at the Lauderhill Y who became advocates for their community through an initiative called Live Well Lauderhill. Live Well Lauderhill is an initiative that is funded through the Pioneering Healthier Communities Grant from the YMCA of the USA (YUSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Live Well Lauderhill seeks to make improvements for all in the City of Lauderhill, by addressing safety, health and environmental issues. These same students also met with School Board members Laurie Rich-Levinson and Ben Williams to discuss healthy food options in and around Lauderhill Y as part of the overall Community Action Plan.

The Broward County Community Action Plan is the result of community conversations, a community tour, and student presentations. It formally presents the student-led community agenda for change with detailed time lines, action steps, and outcomes. One of the three plan objectives identified was the 19th Street Overpass being a barrier to health and wellbeing in the Lauderhill community.

About YMCA Broward County

The YMCA of Broward County was named a Pioneering Healthier Community grantee in 2011, by the CDC and YUSA. This grant challenges the Y to convene a broad-based community leadership group to make policy, system, and environmental changes that create a healthier community.

As one of the area’s largest nonprofits, this organization is committed to addressing the most pressing needs of our community. In 2011, this YMCA Association of over 1000 employees, gave $1.22 million dollars back to families in need and served over 200,000 Broward residents through 7 Family Centers and nearly 100 afterschool, special needs, youth and senior health outreach sites. Visit for additional information.


Worksite Wellness in Broward County


As a result of the Pioneering Healthier Communities process the YMCA of Broward County is reexamining some of its operating practices. In an effort to make the healthy choice the easy choice in our community the Y realized that it needed to look into its own walls and the people inside them. Last month the Y revisited the Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) and completed the worksite assessment.

The results of that assessment are the continued development of innovative worksite wellness policies for the employees. Those of us that work a typical 9-5 desk job spend the majority of our day at our desks. But research is showing that sitting for prolonged periods of time without physical activity can have the same adverse effects on our health as smoking!

Some of Broward County’s largest employers are involved in Pioneering Healthier Communities and the Transforming Our Community’s Health (TOUCH) initiative. If we all begin to walk the walk within our organizations and make nutritious foods, physical activity, and smoke free environments more readily available and accessible then that will leave a substantial footprint on improving the health of Broward County.

Broward County has developed worksite wellness initiatives for its public employees, now all organizations in the county need to follow their lead by providing a healthful worksite environment. The CHLI tool is an excellent first step in determining where your organization should begin in developing a worksite wellness initiative. E-mail the YMCA’s Director of Community Health Innovation, Meredith Sowers (, if you would like more information on using the tool or general worksite wellness information.

Mayor Kaplan and Vice Mayor Meet with Live Well Lauderhill Students


Happy Friday everyone! This past Wednesday Mayor Kaplan and Vice Mayor Benson met with a group of Live Well Lauderhill students to discuss the Own the Overpath greenspace construction. They were also joined by Lauderhill Department of Environmental and Engineering Services (DEES) Director, Charlie Cuyler and DEES City Engineer Martin Cala.

Mayor Kaplan, Martin, and Charlie reviewed the blueprints with the students. Charlie and Martin discussed why certain landscaping, street lamps, and sidewalk design was chosen. The city really took to heart the safety concerns that the students outlined in their Community Action Plan. All elements of the new construction were chosen to enhance the safety of the Overpath.

Vice Mayor Benson closed out the meeting with a heartfelt congratulation to the students for this major accomplishment. He also drove home the message of the power of youth civic engagement and challenged the students to continue their efforts by educating their friends and communities. Immediately after the meeting the students were beaming with excitement and began sharing the news with their teachers and peers!

Construction will begin in late November to early December and should take several months to complete. Live Well Lauderhill is one of the most positive examples of community action that leads to impactful and meaningful change. There are still many items that the students outlined in their Community Action Plan that need to move forward. But with this success and model for change we will be able to work together to strengthen our community!