City of Des Moines Healthy Des Moines Movement

The Healthy Des Moines Movement was ignited by the need to address critical public health issues in our community related to poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and high rates of diabetes and obesity. Many of these issues are directly related to the design of the built environment that affects the health and well being of our residents, especially vulnerable population groups such as children, elderly, people of color, and low-income households.

Des Moines Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grant Awarded

In 2010, the City of Des Moines received an 18-month Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant from the CDC and PHSKC to develop a new Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to increase access to nourishing foods and beverages and opportunities for physical activity through policy, systems, and environments that make “the healthy choice the easy choice.” The City worked closely with PHSKC, the cities of Burien, SeaTac, and Normandy Park, and the Highline School District, all of whom are members of the Healthy Highline Communities Coalition (now Highline Communities Coalition or HCC) and the state-wide CPPW Coalition.

Community Transformation Grant Awarded

In 2013, the City of Des Moines received a follow-on Community Transformation Grant (CTG) from the CDC in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital and PHSKC to develop and implement standards to improve physical activity in City-run programs. The City collaborated with Highline School District to develop new Physical Activity Standards; a NEW Des Moines K-FIT program for the City’s Club KHAOS (Kids Having an Outrageous School Year) and Camp KHAOS (Kids Having an Outrageous Summer) programs.  These programs are aligned with Highline School District’s Enhanced Physical Education Program and with Washington State health and National fitness standards for physical activity curricula.

The Healthy Des Moines Champions

Behind every community movement stand Champions. There have been many Champions working together for a Healthier Des Moines, including the Des Moines City Council, a 12-member Healthy Des Moines Technical Advisory Committee, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) leaders, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Healthy Highline Communities Coalition, Highline School District and consultants.  This important work was made possible with funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and South King County Community Activity Nutrition Network initiative (“I” CANN).

Tools for Success and Sustainability

The City of Des Moines created the following tools with success and sustainability in mind during their Communities Putting Prevention to Work and Community Transformation Grants. Review the tools below to learn more about the City’s’ work for healthy living in healthy communities.

KFit Guide Logos

Chronic Disease Leads to the Adoption of a Healthy Des Moines Element

In January 2012 the Des Moines City Council adopted a “Healthy Des Moines Element” (Ordinance No. 1532) into the Comprehensive Plan and wove additional health-promoting goals, policies, and strategies throughout the Land Use, Transportation, and Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Elements.   New policies relating to land use, food access, and the transportation system provide a framework and identify the actions for making the necessary changes to build a healthy, vibrant Des Moines that fosters nourishing foods and beverages in our neighborhoods and active living in our community.   The City is one of the first communities nationwide to establish a “Healthy Element” in our Comprehensive Plan that addresses the link between public health and the built environment!

Des Moines Outcomes and Partners Report
A guide celebrating the City of Des Moines’ – Healthy Des Moines Movement that builds on our successes for healthy living in healthy communities.

Des Moines Nutritional Standards Implementation Guide

A guide for the City of Des Moines staff and departments to use to purchase and offer nutritious food and beverage options at City-sponsored meetings, programs, concessions and vending.

Des Moines Physical Activity Standards Implementation Guide
A guide for the City of Des Moines staff and leaders to use to implement Des Moines K-FIT Physical Activity Standards at City-sponsored recreation programs.

Des Moines K-FIT Highlight Video
A video highlighting the Des Moines K-FIT program (1.5 minutes).

NRPA Out of School Time Grant Awarded

The NRPA awarded Des Moines (as one of fifty parks and recreation agencies nationally) $30,000 grants in years 2012 and 2014 funded by Walmart to provide free drop in outdoor summer feeding and recreational activities in underserved neighborhoods.  The Out-of-School Time program includes a nutritional lunch, afternoon snacks and supervised recreation activities as well as nutritional education for children up to 18 years of age.

The City’s Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Department collaborated with the Des Moines Area Food Bank to implement NRPA’s ”Commit to Health” program that has reached thousands of Des Moines children in the last 3 years. The partners plan to continue to provide these services to low income youth after school throughout the school year.

South King County Community Activity Nutrition
Network initiative (“I” CANN)

The City of Des Moines joined PHSKC, King County Parks, adjacent cities, local hospitals, schools, businesses and organizations to help educate children and families to combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy activity opportunities and nutritional information. By combining resources, we can tackle this issue as a team in a positive manner.

In 2014, the “I” CANN cities received a $100,000 King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant to provided outdoor fitness and pulse equipment at seven parks in south King County.  Visit Steven J. Underwood Park at 21800 20th Ave. S., Des Moines to work out on the new Cardio Steppers and Ab Crunch/Leg Lift.

Community Garden Grant awarded for Daisy Sonju Garden

Sonju Community Garden established in 2011, received a $6,000 NRPA grant in 2013 to construct a green house as part of the volunteer managed garden.  Thousands of hours of volunteer labor has been contributed to transform an overgrown park property into a local community food source. The garden and orchard reclamation was envisioned in the 2010 Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Master Plan; however, it took the hard work of dedicated citizen Kim Richmond and community partners such as the Des Moines Area Food Bank and Rotary Club with the help of the City to bring the garden to life. Along with the ADA accessible pea patches (rented to local gardeners for a nominal fee) that sits aside a small fruit tree orchard, the green house helps to supply fruit and vegetable starts for local gardeners and helps to provide thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food bank clients.

KFit Photo