The Health and Wellness Master Plan Committee hosted an open house at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 14, to present the proposed City of Southlake Health and Wellness Master Plan.
The Health andWellness Master Plan, a component of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan, is aimed to address four key topic areas to promote health and wellness in Southlake: Built & Natural Environment, Mental & Physical Health, an Age-Friendly Community and Community Resiliency.
“Although the City of Southlake currently offers programs that directly relate to serving the community in terms of health and wellness, there was not a unifying document that brought all these efforts together. This plan was developed to capture many of the important initiatives underway currently, as well as plan for the future of Southlake,” said Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker.
The Health & Wellness Committee made 36 recommendations, categorized by the four topic areas listed above. These four topic areas are further explained below.
Built and Natural Environment
The built and natural environment represents a broad topic, spanning from infrastructure to open space within Southlake. The built environment reflects on the benefits of sustainable building design and how building design can lead to greater overall public health. The section also discusses the benefits of nature in relation to one’s well-being, expanding this into the personal responsibility we all share as it relates to health and wellness. This section even extends into maintaining an effective vector (mosquito) control program. This section of the Health & Wellness Master Plan explores the ways our environment impacts our individual daily lives, and the steps the City can take to promote overall wellness for the community.
Mental & Physical Health
In the context of overall health and wellness, it is difficult to talk about mental health and physical health separately. This section of the plan will include continued participation in campaigns such as Prescription Drug Take-Back Day as well as encouraging community support of and access to City park facilities. Leveraging technology to support public health was also recommended such as by providing safe mobility and active transportation routes to get to City park facilities. The City will also continue to partner with groups and organizations such as S.P.A.R.K. and C.I.S.D. to provide educational workshops for parents and students on topics such as healthy cooking and eating, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health topics.
This section considers that the community is made up of residents of varying ages and includes recommendations focusing on ensuring the community is age-friendly. Included are recommendations regarding the promotion of programs such as Carfit, Stop the Bleed and car seat adjustment. The section also considers the possibility of developing an age-friendly park facility or similar amenity or potentially activating City parks or other park facilities by adding an outdoor collaboration space to the public realm.
This section focuses on implementing measures to not only promote citywide resiliency but also foster a sense of personal emergency awareness and preparedness for residents. The section speaks to implementing measures that increase disaster recovery and business continuity. Among other topics, the section speaks to investing in technology that enables real-time monitoring of traffic conditions. In terms of volunteer opportunities, the plan recommends continuation of the DPS Citizens Academy or similar program, as well as potentially bringing back the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The purpose of the Health & Wellness Master Plan is to establish clear goals and priorities for the next several years to encourage overall community wellness. More specifically, this plan will identify opportunities for the City to further position itself as an advocate for the well-being of all residents, visitors and corporate citizens.
The next steps for the Health & Wellness Master Plan are below. All meetings will take place at Southlake Town Hall.
A draft version of the Health and Wellness Master plan is available on the City’s website at CityofSouthlake.com/HealthandWellness.
The City of Southlake’s Planning and Development Services Department provided City Council an update on the development of the Health and Wellness Master Plan at their May 7 meeting.
The Health and Wellness Master Plan, which is an element of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, is designed to address key components of wellness in the community. It consolidates, organizes and in some cases, updates existing city policies, programs and recommendations specifically related to health and wellness. It also includes 36 recommendations in four topic areas: Built and Natural Environment, Mental and Physical Health, Age-Friendly Communities and Community Resiliency.
“Currently, the City offers and supports many programs related to serving the community in terms of health and wellness,” said Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker. “The Health & Wellness Master Plan will help establish clear goals and priorities for the next several years related to encouraging overall community wellness.”
In order to develop the plan, a Health and Wellness Committee was formed to provide feedback and act as an advisory board to City Council. So far, the Health and Wellness Committee has conducted six meetings to formulate the plan. During these meetings, the committee and City staff developed recommendations for the plan.
Also, as part of plan development, the committee received input from the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL), the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC), the Southlake Senior Advisory Committee and CISD School Health Advisory Committee.
“The City recognizes that our resident population is diverse, and this plan aims to be representative of all groups (including youth, middle-aged and senior citizens) regarding health and wellness topics,” said Baker.
The adoption process consists of multiple public meetings: SPIN, Planning and Zoning Commission and two readings at City Council. These public meetings provide an opportunity for the community to give feedback on the plan. The process also allows boards, committees and City Council the opportunity to guide and direct policy for Southlake.
Below are the next steps for the Health & Wellness Master Plan, all located at Southlake Town Hall:
A draft version of the Health and Wellness Master Plan is available on the City’s website.
Would you like to help shape the future in Southlake? Are you someone who is interested in health or wellness? Is your community important to you?
If you answered yes to these questions, apply now to the new Health & Wellness Master Plan Committee.
Need to know more? Southlake is full of health and wellness experts, enthusiasts and advocates who we’d like to help us put together the new Health and Wellness Master Plan. Here are a few examples of ideas the committee could explore.
Built & Natural Environment – How can parks be more senior-friendly? This topic may include looking at how landscape and lighting requirements can increase public safety, and developing criteria to evaluate the overall safety of development proposals;
Transportation – This could include highlighting existing Community Service Agreements, such as Call a Ride Southlake (CARS). The committee may also explore sidewalk connections and how incorporating Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) into roadways might encourage safety and increase mobility;
Aging Population – Another important focus area includes examining opportunities to increase the quality of life for seniors in the community and those that wish to “age in place” through policies and programs. This may consist of reviewing ordinances in terms of existing requirements for family or “mother-in-law” quarters as families may serve as caregivers for aging relatives;
Mental Health & Wellness – Topics within this category may include working with healthcare professionals on community needs related to anxiety and depression and other mental illnesses;
Partnerships – This ultimately speaks to how the City of Southlake will pursue partnerships with groups such as health care providers, the Carroll Independent School District, and possibly other community service organizations that focus on health and wellness initiatives.
Southlake City Council recognizes the importance of health and wellness issues and has included this new component in the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan. While this plan element is new, it will build on recommendations from other plans. For example, the LiveFit Program has been successfully implemented as a health and wellness program in the City. “The success of LiveFit demonstrates that health and wellness is something we can all relate to. I’m looking forward to the invaluable insight committee members will provide us as we move forward with this new component of the 2035 Master Plan,” says Senior Director of Planning & Development Services Ken Baker.
City Council is seeking applicants of all ages and backgrounds, encouraging those with professional experience or interest in health or wellness topics to apply. Committee members will be asked to meet about once a month over the course of several months, to work alongside City staff to develop this master plan element. They will be reviewing existing city policies; evaluating the current health and wellness landscape in Southlake; analyzing current and future wellness needs and topics; and formulating recommendations to City Council related to health and wellness.
Interested in applying? Visit the Health and Wellness Plan page on the City website to learn more about the application process. Applications are due by February 16, 2018.