Blue Zones Project looks to Fort Worth


Under the tag ‘Long Live, Fort Worth,’ the Fort Worth community is about to get a facelift.

The Blue Zones Project, a community wide well-being initiative, is working to better Fort Worth for years to come. 

The Blue Zones Project will work across Fort Worth over the next four years to better schools, worksites, restaurants, grocery stores, community policy and the individuals working and living in the community. The end goal is sustainable growth and activity in Fort Worth’s communities.

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“In other communities around the world they design and construct their streets and their neighborhoods so everything is connected,” said Brandy O’Quinn, Fort Worth resident and Blue Zones manager of public affairs.

“People don’t have to get in their car to go to the restaurant, or to services, or driving their kids to school, they actually walk.”

On March 1, citizens of Fort Worth gathered in Smith Hall to discuss issues of walkability and implementing the Blue Zones plan in their individual neighborhoods.

Through the Blue Zones Project, volunteers said they hope to increase Fort Worth resident’s accessibility to different businesses and resources near them.

“The Blue Zones project is a well-being transformation that is taking over the city of Fort Worth,” said Yolanda Roberts, Blue Zones Project’s work site coordinator. “It is a great initiative that we are just trying to go into every aspect of the community, every sector of the city and impact lives to live longer, healthier and better.”

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These initiatives will be implemented with the Blue Zone’s “power nine” in mind.

These are a set of nine principles derived from healthy communities around the world who have high rates of longevity, wellness and happiness.

The Blue Zones Projects’ volunteers say it relates to TCU because the changes being made community wide will directly impact students.

“TCU is its own neighborhood,” O’Quinn said. “I would encourage students looking to get involved in this well-being initiative to like us on Facebook, ‘Blue Zones Project Fort Worth,’ and then sign up and commit to their own well being which is going to be a huge part of this.”

The program will affect the TCU faculty as well.

“We just know that healthy employees with a higher well-being, they just perform better and they cost less,” Roberts said. “By implementing some of the best practices, the Blue Zones project has researched and proven to lower health care costs and improve productivity.”

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The Blue Zones Project has been in the works in Fort Worth since October. Many of the projects initiatives go along with Mayor Betsey Price’s “Fit Worth” program that is said to have already had an impact on Fort Worth public schools.

“Schools have embraced health and nutrition, work sites as well, and also our residents of Forth Worth,” said O’Quinn. “It is kind of creating that tipping point of getting as many of our own residents to commit to their own well-being.”

Blue Zones’ staff and community members who attended the meeting Sunday are urging students and more community members to get involved.

“Learn about the Blue Zones Project and understand what it is and what is here, and the impact it is going to have on our community,” Roberts said.

“There are so many ways to get involved, but it is just fun. It’s exciting and it’s about our total well-being, and who does not want to live longer and happier?”