Decorah is readying an application to become a "Blue Zone Community"

Posted: Fri, Oct 14, 2011 8:40 AM

A Decorah group plans to submit a statement of interest to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa to become one of ten "Blue Zone Communities" in the state.

Several group members attended a special "BlueZone Road Show" on Wednesday in Cedar Rapds that explained the program.  The Blue Zone Project is based on the work of author Dan Buettner, who wrote a bestselling book that explored the common elements of cultures around the world where people had longer lifeexpectancies.

The State of Iowa has partnered with Wellmark Blue Cross and BlueShield and Healthways to create the Blue Zone program in Iowa.  The process for being considered for the Blue ZonesProject is for a community to submit a Statement of Interest application.Communities able to demonstrate their readiness and commitment will be invitedto submit an application in the beginning of 2012.  Applicants will host sitevisits in the spring of 2012 with three to four communities selected in May

Strong community support is one factor for being selected a Blue Zone community.. Decorah residents are being asked to show their commitment to the community's application by going to www.bluezonesprojects.com and signing up as a citizen. 

If Decorah is selected as a Blue Zone community, the program will provide support to assess community wellness, develop a communityplan and build and expand on wellness initiatives already created.

Decorah MayorDon Arendt and Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nikki Brevigare serving as co-chairs for Decorah's Blue Zone committee. Kathy Bakken was appointed Thursday night at the Decorah Parks & Recreation Board's representative on the Blue Zone committee.  On Monday night the Decorah City Council will discuss a resolution supporting the Blue Zone Project and Decorah's application.

To learn more about how to support Decorah's Blue Zone initiative, e-mail Nikki Brevig at director@decorahareachamber.com