Promoting healthy lifestyles for children & families


Northern California Healthy Eating Active Living (NorCal HEAL): Resources

The Northern California Healthy Eating Active Living (NorCal HEAL) website, administered by the Center, lists resources, materials and information for schools, worksites, neighborhoods, and healthcare, as well as links to cross-sector postings and fundraising opportunities.

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing A Community’s Assets

This guide to what the authors call "asset-based community development," summarizes lessons learned by studying successful community-building initiatives in hundreds of neighborhoods across the United States. It outlines in simple, "neighborhood-friendly" terms what local communities can do to start their own journey down the path of asset-based development.

Chicago's NeighborSpace: Community Managed Open Space

NeighborSpace is an excellent example of a diverse group of community members in an urban setting coming together to protect, expand, and improve the safety of their neighborhood gardens and parks.

Community Garden Policy Inventory

Prepared by Public Health Law and Policy, this publication contains information on land use and planning policies to support community and urban gardening from across the country. Topics covered include: general promotion of community gardens; specific promotion of community gardens; land acquisition; land tenure; management; quotas/location; and equitable access.

Growing Community Gardens

This 8-page document from Denver Urban Gardens [] provides tips for developing and maintaining a community garden. Although some of the information is specific to the Denver area, much of it would be applicable to any community. Topics include:
~ Steps to Starting a Garden
~ Suggested Construction Start-up Schedule
~ Suggested Month-by-Month Garden Schedule

Healthy Counties Database

The Healthy Counties Database allows you to search for model policies, programs, and initiatives that counties nationwide have enacted to promote wellness and help prevent childhood obesity. No need to reinvent the wheel! Find out what your peers in local government have done to enable and encourage nutritious diets, physical activity, and healthy built and social environments.

How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans

How can public health advocates and city planners work together to create healthy, sustainable communities? This toolkit provides a progression of steps focused on the general plan, the key land use policy document for California cities and counties.

Opening School Grounds to the Community After Hours: A Toolkit for Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint Use Agreements

In many communities, where safe places to play are few and far between, schools offer a variety of recreational facilities—from gymnasiums and running tracks to sports fields and playgrounds—to meet residents’ needs. But districts often close their property to the public after hours, concerned about security, maintenance, liability, and other costs.

Parks, Playgrounds, and Active Living

This Active Living Research report summarizes a growing body of evidence concerning the role of parks in shaping active lifestyles across a variety of study populations, including children, seniors, lower-income families, specific racial and ethnic groups, and other populations at high risk of being inactive.

Roadmap to Improving Food and Physical Activity Environments

This 140-page guide is designed to help coalitions working to build healthier communities, where people have access to healthy foods, and where being physically active can become a way of life for everyone. It is for coalition leaders and members who are new to this work, as well as those who are applying their experience to a new arena or are working with new partners.