A Healthy and Happy Summer for All

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Healthier Perth Amboy

As spring jumps into summer, so does the Healthier Perth Amboy Culture of Health team. With the arrival of warm weather comes the opportunities to bring to life what we have been working on, such as

  • supporting community gardens, new parks, and mobile markets,
  • adopting an ordinance that supports outdoor parklets, and
  • beginning work with the Bloustein school to create a linear park design!

Individual team members are collaborating through emails, phone calls, and meetings. Key partners are focused on specific goals that they are championing, while at the same time helping other partners with the resources they have.

As an example, our coalition is helping Sustainable Jersey by aligning Culture of Health goals with Sustainable Jersey’s work. Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability initiatives. Perth Amboy is one of many communities in New Jersey to have a Sustainable Jersey “Green Team” that follows certain guidelines to make a community more sustainable and/or environmentally friendly. Green Teams receive points based on the initiative, and can achieve “Bronze” or “Silver” status. Currently, Perth Amboy’s Green Team is at a Bronze status, and this year, the Green Team would like to reach “Silver” status, like our neighbors in Woodbridge.

Through collaboration with community partners that also serve on the Green Team, we can ensure that Safe Routes to School and automobile anti-idling initiatives are implemented, and that local residents can buy fresh food.

We are now actively working with the Jewish Renaissance Foundation and our local schools to promote our health initiatives. For example, we helped to host a “Bike Rodeo” at Dr. Herbert N. Richardson 21st Century Elementary School. This event provided an introduction to our healthy air initiatives, which promote bike-riding as an excellent way to exercise safely and help the environment when travelling. Next, we hope to install bike racks at several locations throughout Perth Amboy, since bicycles are an important aspect to community health, as well as a vital mode of transportation for commuting to school and work.

Speaking of work, Hackensack Meridian Health representatives have been working toward the implementation of our coalition’s Workplace Wellness plan, hoping to soon partner with several local businesses and distribute a wellness plan that fits their employees’ needs. We intend to engage at least 10 local businesses in adopting the Workplace Wellness plan to help their employees improve their health and reduce signs of common chronic diseases.

We also hope to decrease the unemployment rate in Perth Amboy by supporting activities that provide free internet services, as well as providing a job posting board, career fairs, and details about vocational school programs.

This summer, we are implementing ways for everyone to improve their health, as well as enjoy Perth Amboy’s true potential. We look forward to the sun finally shining down on our hard work. It’s never too late to partner with us to build a Culture of Health in Perth Amboy. Connect with our project director to learn more about our plans for the summer and beyond.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.


Rebecca Pauley