The Active Older Adults of Lauderhill have taken their workout outdoors. Using the newly paved and lit walking paths and the hill challenge of the Overpath, they are spending time with friends and improving their health and wellbeing. Proof positive: better built environments create healthier behaviors!!
The Live Well Lauderhill initiative continues to work through the complex layers of permissions necessary to install the Art of Community project. Everyone is working hard to design and install a community-led public work of art. Community members, teen leaders, city officials, FP & L, the Broward County School District, and FIU professors are working collaboratively to make this awesome design a reality. Follow the link for a sneak peek of the project design!
Live Well Lauderhill continues to explore innovative approaches to engage community members around the safety concerns of the 19th Street Overpath. Recently, a group of 50 Lauderhill Older Adults and 20 Lauderhill Teens participated in Own the Overpath focus groups. We discussed how the community can collectively support Live Well’s effort.
We also explored solutions to how the community can better be connected to one another. The Overpath was seen as an asset and a resource to engage community members in service learning opportunities such as community gardening.
Meanwhile, the Own the Overpath Collaborative (Lauderhill Commissioner Benson, Broward County Public Schools, Florida Power and Light, Florida Department of Transportation, the Turnpike Authority, Florida International University, and the Y of Broward) have been meeting to explore the policies created for the Overpath. The Collaborative has been researching over 25 year old policies to better support student and pedestrian safety.
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 www.ymcabroward.org for additional information.
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!