February 1, 2019
By: Jenna Zmyslony, Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA serving with Carlton County
As an Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA serving with Carlton County, one of the main projects I have been working on is implementing the Blue Zone Project as a county-wide health program.
Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live much longer and healthier than the world average. The Blue Zone concept initially grew out of a study which identified Sardinia as the region with the highest concentration of male centenarians. With the researchers from this study, explorer and author Dan Buettner broadened the term and applied it to other validated areas of longevity throughout the world. Buettner has designed a program destined to unite community worksites, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and residents toward one common goal: making healthy choices easier.
Through my service as a VISTA, I have organized events with promising stakeholders from the community, communicated with core Blue Zone leadership, analyzed potential resource development strategies, and primarily coordinated the project from the beginning of my service term. Though initially a moonshot project, our Blue Zone Team is now optimistic about the possibility of its inception for our county!