Growing a healthy city begins with the people who live and work there.
In Newark, that includes such athletic opportunities as a triathlon, Mayor’s Fun Ride, Mayor’s Masquerade Run/Walk, 5K and 10K races and Tennis With the Mayor.
The Top of Delaware triathlon includes a quarter-mile swim in Newark Reservoir, followed by an 11.4-mile bike ride, topped off with a 2.6-mile run around the reservoir.
Mayor Polly Sierer and Nic DeCaire, owner of Fusion Fitness, partnered to come up with ways to promote fitness.
“We want to get people up and moving,” the mayor says. “We want to create awareness of our bicycle-friendly streets and trails. We want to be visible and set a good example for our youth.”
She notes that fitness got a big boost in 2013 from the Healthy Newark Initiative.
Gov. Jack Markell awarded Newark the gold designation in Recognition for Community Health Promotion. The award recognizes that Newark has taken significant steps to promote health in the community by developing policies and infrastructure to improve the health and quality of life of people in the city.
Newark’s Comprehensive Development Plan, which incorporated input from throughout the city, promotes a specific vision of Newark as a “Healthy & Active Community” by providing “safe infrastructure and amenities to allow opportunities for a healthy and active lifestyle.”
That also includes such measures as requiring all developments to have sidewalks and pedestrian connectivity, as well as provide secure places for people to park bicycles.
Newark’s Bicycle Friendly Business program recognizes employers for their efforts to encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for workers and customers who use pedal power. The BFB earned a bronze award from the League of American Bicyclists.
Newark used grant money to buy bicycles ridden by municipal workers.
“We have city staff riding bikes to meetings in the city, meetings at the University of Delaware,” Sierer says.
DeCaire says Newark is an ideal place to create a culture of fitness.
“There are opportunities to walk, run and ride just about anywhere you go,” he says. “We have so many parks, so many trails.”