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Pierce County Residents Benefit from Healthy Communities

Two local jurisdictions and 1 tribal government received honors for projects that promote community health.

The 2023 Healthy Communities Awards recognize comprehensive plans and other community design efforts that will improve the health of residents.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department recognizes 3 recipients that showed leadership to improve community health outcomes:

  • Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
  • City of Tacoma.
  • Pierce County.

We honored these agencies virtually Feb. 15 at the Pierce County Regional Committee General Assembly.

“The way our communities are designed affects our health,” said Cindan Gizzi, Interim Director of Health for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. “These planners made design decisions that will improve the health of Pierce County residents by balancing the needs of our communities, our environment, and our economy.”

Each recipient’s plan addresses social, economic, and environmental factors that make people healthy.

When your community is healthy, your health outcomes improve. Healthy communities offer:

  • Physical activity.
  • Safety.
  • Access to healthy food.
  • Clean air, water, and soil.
  • Strong community resilience and quality of life.
  • Access to livelihood, education, services, and resources.

Puyallup Tribe of Indians — Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Its first ever Comprehensive Land Use Plan charts a healthier future for the Tribe’s people, economy, and natural environment. The plan will:

  • Increase access to improved water and air quality.
  • Increase equitable access to natural areas, parks, open space, and recreation—fully protecting Tribal treaty rights.
  • Identify and address gaps in access to natural areas, parks, open space, and recreation for Tribal members.
  • Advocate for high performance standards to improve healthy housing and natural habitats.
  • Study how land use indicators play a role in negative health consequences to the Tribal community.
  • Address climate change to improve community health.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Tribal buildings, transportation, and economy.
  • Restore habitats for culturally and economically significant fish and shellfish species.
  • Prioritize natural resources and habitats for future generations.

City of Tacoma — Vision Zero Action Plan and Speed Reduction Ordinance

Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan includes a Vision Zero strategy to increase safety, health, and equitable mobility for all. Implementing Vision Zero and lowering speed limits will:

  • Reduce the risk of crashes and injuries as well as the associated societal costs from crashes such as medical bills and property damage.
  • Enhance safety and encourage residents to engage in more outdoor physical activity.
  • Reduce noise pollution, make neighborhoods quieter, and improve mental health and emotional well-being.
  • Increase foot traffic through business districts which can stimulate the local economy.

Pierce County — Sprinker Recreation Center Outdoor Improvements

As part of the Master Plan for the Sprinker Recreation Center, these Outdoor Improvements create a space where Pierce County residents will:

  • Experience a fun and safe place to spend time outdoors.
  • Connect in their natural environment.

The vibrant new outdoor space includes:

  • A regional playground and spray park, picnic shelters, and community lawn.
  • Connection to the new Parkland Community Trail.
  • Outdoor fitness center, new futsal court, resurfaced tennis courts with pickleball lines, refurbished basketball courts, and 2 synthetic ballfields.
  • Parking, safety, and accessibility improvements.

This project includes infrastructure upgrades that will benefit the environment:

  • Green stormwater system improvements.
  • Trees in the parking lot and throughout the site to reduce urban heat island affect.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Non-motorized transportation system that will reduce travel to access the site.

You can learn more about healthy communities and community planning at tpchd.org/healthycommunities.

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