Parsippany, New Jersey, one of Money Magazine’s 15 best places to live in 2008, brings residents together to make healthy living a fun, community event. With policies and programs, the northern New Jersey township promotes healthy lifestyles.
Among its efforts:
- A community garden begun 15 years ago offers plots, in walking distance of a number of apartment buildings, for residents to grow vegetables. All of the garden’s 93 plots were reserved in summer 2009.
- A farmers’ market in the town hall parking lot provides local farmers with opportunities to sell fruits, vegetables, flowers and honey. Some 200 customers visit the market each Friday afternoon.
- Township employees participated in a 2007 Mayor’s Wellness Campaign to engage in physical activity and healthy eating.
- The Mayor’s Healthy Cook-Off Challenge, hosted by Parsippany in 2008, attracted area mayors and 500 residents from surrounding communities to cook healthy dishes and compile a cookbook that was available for purchase.
- In a countywide 2009 weight loss challenge, Parsippany was the winning town and two residents finished in the top three places.
Through these and other township initiatives, Parsippany residents are discovering where health and community intersect as they come together to achieve health-related goals.