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Davenport gets in the Blue Zone for health

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Davenport is in the running to become Iowa's healthiest city. That's as representatives from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield made a site visit on Monday.

It's all part of the Blue Zone project. That's an initiative to encourage happy and healthy living.

Davenport is ready to become a healthier community, one step at a time. As dozens of residents walk around Modern Woodmen Park on Monday, this brisk pace shows the city hitting its stride to become a Blue Zone.

"Ultimately, I think the most exciting thing would be to continue in our community to make the healthy choice the easy choice," said Davenport Alderman-at-Large Jason Gordon.

It's a concept for kids of all ages. From an impromptu flash mob in Mayor Bill Gluba's office, to golfers getting into the swing of things at Davenport's River's Edge, the city is working working hard and working out to make a good impression.

If selected, local staff will work with mentors to promote health and wellness programs in Davenport. It's part of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state.

"They're looking for a community that they can come to and really make a difference with proven results," said Theresa Hauman, a senior manager with Davenport Parks and Recreation. "That's what we're ready for."

Davenport needs to rally more citizen support. To vote for Davenport, text BZP to 772937, or go to and enter a Davenport zip code.

The Blue Zone incorporates physical, social and policy changes designed to help people lead happier and healthier lives. It's all about being active.

For a community that collaborates, the goal seems to be a natural fit. Davenport hopes to be the first Blue Zone in Iowa. Muscatine and Clinton are among other Iowa cities in the running. Wellmark is expected to announce its decision by May 1.

"Bring community leadership from the top and non-profits and community activists from the bottom," said Matt McGarvey, Wellmark Foundation. "Bring them all together in a way that we can actually make permanent change."

"Hopefully, we'll just move on," added Hauman. "It will be a match made in Heaven."

One step at a time, leading the way to a healthier community in Davenport.