First Healthy Duluth Festival held at Zeitgeist

By KBJR News 1

June 24, 2014 Updated Jun 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- One in four Duluthians eat fast food three or more time per week, according to the Healthy Duluth Area Coalition, which are among the reasons the organization is taking action to promote healthier communities.

The first Healthy Ideas Festival took place Tuesday night at Zeitgeist Cafe in Duluth, which focused on addressing the health disparities that effect different communities around the city.

The festival highlighted ideas that could help transform Duluth into a more vibrant healthy community such as implementing community gardens, to the development of the Grand Traverse Trail.

Four community organizations presented their visions on how to improve the health of communities around Duluth.

"It's startling to see even just simple life expectancies between two neighborhoods that might be as few as four of five miles apart, you know, living in that neighborhood could indicate that you could die and decade earlier," said Tony Cuneo, organizer of the festival.

The audience will help determine which organization has the best idea for a chance to win up to $10,000 to execute the plan.

Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS) discussed their vision for biking in Duluth; specifically the Grand Traverse Trail system.

Seeds of Success talked about the impact of improving a local food system and how doing value added work can improve program operations.

The Health and Wellness table discussed approaches for making positive systems change and Healthy Duluth discussed tactical urbanism, using temporary change and creative place making to engage community members in long term health improvements.