This article profiles the work of Active Living Logan Square, a program run by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association with funding from Active Living by Design (ALbD). Logan Square is a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, IL with high levels of obesity and few local resources for active living.
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and the Illinois Health Education Consortium, along with other community groups, to promote healthy living opportunities in Logan Square schools and communities.
- Active living improvements in schools included implementing health-related activities for children in all grades in the local elementary school, building a playground so that all students could take a 10-minute recess, and integrating bike safety classes into the middle school curriculum.
- Funding from ALbD and matching grants supported a full-time coordinator and carved out time for the project for other key staff members.
- Active Living Logan Square helped make the Bloomingdale Trail, a rails-to-trails project, a priority for the city of Chicago, which in 2008 received federal funding to develop the trail.
- Two Open Streets pilot events, where streets were closed to traffic and physical activities were encouraged, attracted over 10,000 residents.
- A major challenge for Active Living Logan Square was balancing the need to support long-term projects and policies while simultaneously creating and building upon smaller, short-term successes.
Active Living Logan Square was able to make positive active living improvements by engaging the community and a wide variety of partners. The project focused limited resources on specific school and community projects that could be sustained and replicated.