Town Councils and Town staff can make a dramatic positive contribution to the quality of life of the residents in their communities. The Town of Sexsmith, one of the winners of the Developing Healthy Policies Award, said yes to developing policies and creating opportunities for residents to maintain active and healthy lifestyles.
Melody Sample has been working closely with the Town and the Sexsmith Wellness Coalition as the Wellness Coordinator. The Sexsmith Wellness Coalition includes representatives from the Town Council, the FCSS, local schools and as well senior’s representatives. The Coalition meets four times a year and provides a sounding board for Melody as she develops programming.
Melody shares that in 2017 – 2018, the Town of Sexsmith made a significant contribution in supplying physical infrastructure such as painting sidewalk game stencils and pickle ball lines, creating a wheelchair accessible washroom in the Town Council Chambers, building ramps so that the curling rink was accessible for the Farmers’ Market, keeping the walking trails cleared of snow during the winter, positioning park benches and building vegetable beds for the Community garden. Town-owned buildings were provided free of charge to keep Wellness programming free or low cost.
Town staff also stepped up and brought their expertise to the Farmers’ Market Committee and volunteered with many projects including the Senior’s Community Kitchen.
The Town of Sexsmith was key in the launch and success of the new Farmers’ Market which happened every Tuesday, mid-June – Thanksgiving, 4:00pm – 8:00pm at the local curling rink. The Market is 100% made, baked or grown products, most of it from within 100km. Tuesdays at the Farmers’ Market has become one of the Sexsmith’s social gathering highpoints.
Melody identifies the key to the success of community programming is finding champions who push you along, who encourage you. She states that it is easy to lose perspective when you are working by yourself. It sounds as though in Sexsmith, the Town Council is one of those champions!