Success Stories

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School Launching Walking School Bus on Walk and Bike to School Day on May 4th, 2016
Download Media Advisory (4.28.2016)

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Framingham will join schools across the Commonwealth to celebrate Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The school will also be launching a Walking School Bus on that day. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with adult supervision.

A route for the walking school bus was developed with input from Woodrow Wilson’s Principal John Haidemenos, Framingham Town Planners, the Framingham Police Department, MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program, and MetroWest Moves. The route will begin at 8:00am at the intersection of Beaver Street and Marian Road with stops along Tarali Terrace and 2nd Street for children to join the walk, including at Pelham Apartments. Students will continue walking together down Beaver Street to the school, traveling a total of about 0.7 mile.

Walk and Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools, and the broader community.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program support events like Walk and Bike to School Day in their ongoing effort to create safer streets, promote physical activity, and build sustainable environments throughout Massachusetts. MetroWest Moves is a quad-community Mass in Motion initiative to facilitate opportunities for people who live, work, and play in Framingham, Hudson, Marlborough, and Northborough to engage in healthy eating and active living. Increasing walking and biking to school is a goal of MetroWest Moves and therefore fully supports Woodrow Wilson Elementary School and other MetroWest schools which will participate in Walk and Bike to School Day.

Framingham Votes to Accept Revised Site Plan Review, Incorporating Complete Streets Concepts
Download Press Release (6.23.2015)

MetroWest Moves is pleased to announce that on May 12, 2015, the Town of Framingham voted during Town Meeting to accept a revised site plan review process. The purpose of site plan review is to protect the health, safety, quality of life, and general welfare of the community.  Site plan review ensures that all projects provide the following:  accessibility for all users; site design that promotes shared facilities, where feasible; opportunities for the implementation of Complete Streets, pedestrian, and bicycle amenities; access to open or community space; and preservation of historic buildings and neighborhoods. As part of this process, the Planning Board reviews project impacts on traffic, parking, municipal services and utilities, as well as the natural and built environment.

Specifically, Town Planners have made significant changes to Framingham’s site plan review process such as adding requirements that bike racks, sidewalks, crosswalks, and an Urban Design Objectives Narrative be included in all new project applications. Parking, traffic, and environmental impact reports are also required.

Framingham, along with Hudson, Marlborough, and Northborough, formed MetroWest Moves, a Mass in Motion initiative to facilitate opportunities for people who live, work, and play in these communities to engage in healthy eating and active living. As part of its public health approach, MetroWest Moves is working to develop Complete Streets guidelines to ensure that transportation planning and development takes into account the needs of all road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Read about recent Complete Streets activities in these communities in MetroWest Moves’ “Active Living Newsletters”.

Benefits of community design standards such as Complete Streets include increased transportation choices, economic revitalization, creation of vibrant and livable communities, improved safety, and increased opportunities for daily physical activity.

Framingham Passes Complete Streets Policy, Providing Model for Other MetroWest Communities
Download Press Release (3.23.2015)

MetroWest Moves is pleased to announce that on January 6, 2015, the Town of Framingham passed a Complete Streets Policy after a vote by the Board of Selectmen. According to the Town’s website, the adoption of this Policy “solidifies the Town’s commitment to create a safe transportation network for all users, of all ages and abilities”. Planning Board, Health Department, Community & Economic Development, and Department of Public Works staff worked together to develop the Policy. With the adoption of this Policy, the Town will be eligible for additional state Complete Streets-related funding. To read the Policy visit: http://bit.ly/1BK0QnI.

Framingham, along with Hudson, Marlborough and Northborough, formed MetroWest Moves,Mass in Motion initiative to facilitate opportunities for people who live, work, and play in these communities to engage in healthy eating and active, smoke-free living. As part of its public health approach, MetroWest Moves is working to develop community design standards and “Complete Streets” guidelines to ensure that transportation planning and development takes into account the needs of all road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. In 2015, using Framingham’s experience as a model, MetroWest Moves is working towards the development of Complete Streets guidelines in the other three communities. Read about recent Complete Streets activities in these communities in MetroWest Moves’ “Active Living Newsletters”.

Benefits of community design standards such as Complete Streets include increased transportation choices, economic revitalization, creation of vibrant and livable communities, improved safety, and increased opportunities for daily physical activity. These communities will be better served by increased availability of bicycle and pedestrian facilities that connect them to desired destinations: jobs, stores, schools, and parks and will be able to be more physically active in their daily lives.

Forest Avenue Elementary School Celebrated Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day on May 7th, 2014
Download Press Release (5.7.2014)

Forest Avenue Elementary School in Hudson joined schools from across the Commonwealth to celebrate Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

Along with parents and teachers, 149 students from Forest Avenue Elementary walked and biked to school Wednesday between 8:00-8:30am from the John Robinson Street area. Other special activities associated with the walk included distributing pencils and bike tags along with a raffle for water bottles.

Walk and Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools, and the broader community.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program support events like Walk and Bike to School Day in their ongoing effort to create safer streets, promote physical activity, and build sustainable environments throughout Massachusetts. MetroWest Moves is a tri-community Mass in Motion initiative to facilitate opportunities for people who live, work, and play in Framingham, Hudson, and Marlborough to engage in healthy eating and active, smoke-free living. Increasing walking and biking to school is a goal of MetroWest Moves and therefore fully supports Forest Avenue Elementary School and other MetroWest schools which participated in Walk and Bike to School Day.

Framingham Approves TJX Plan to Construct New Building and Stipulates Healthy Community Design as a Condition of Approval
Download Press Release (4.10.2014)

The Town of Framingham recently approved a plan submitted by TJX Companies to construct a 96,000 square-foot “Corporate Support Center” on its Cochituate Road campus. This project will provide additional space for corporate use, as well as increased opportunities for physical activity.

The new building will be used for employee training and will house a product development library and merchandise presentation center. Importantly, this new project will also incorporate two features supportive of healthier behaviors: an employee fitness center and a pedestrian walkway connection between the building site and the adjacent Cochituate Rail Trail (CRT). The CRT is a 4-mile multi-use trail extending from the northeast quadrant of Framingham into Natick. Completion of the Framingham portion of the CRT is planned for this year, with connections to the Framingham Planned Unit Development (PUD), through the Saxonville neighborhood, and into Natick.

As a condition of the approval, the Framingham Planning Board required TJX to create a pedestrian walkway connection between the Corporate Support Center and the CRT. This action is one of many the town is taking to support healthy living. Framingham will continue to identify gaps in the trail network and work towards filling these gaps by creating connections, like the TJX project.

Moreover, in 2012, Framingham updated their Master Plan, which prioritizes projects and policies that support the development of healthy communities. Additionally, Framingham is in the process of making final edits to the Town’s updated Open Space and Recreation Plan, which promotes trails and non-vehicular modes of transportation. The Town of Framingham is working to shift from a vehicle dependent environment to one where sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and trails connect major nodes in Town.

Framingham is also part of MetroWest Moves, a Mass in Motion initiative that focuses on increasing opportunities for physical activity, as well as promoting community design standards and “Complete Streets” to ensure that transportation planning and development takes into account the needs of all road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. As part of its public health approach, MetroWest Moves also supports worksite wellness as an integral way to encourage adults to lead a healthy lifestyle and help to reduce an individual’s risk for developing chronic disease. The newly planned TJX project provides a unique opportunity for the company to foster conditions that encourage, support and promote wellness.

MetroWest Moves is a tri-community Mass in Motion initiative to facilitate opportunities for people who live, work, and play in Framingham, Hudson, and Marlborough to engage in healthy eating and active, smoke-free living. MetroWest Moves is funded by the Middlesex County Community Transformation Grant and the MetroWest Health Foundation.

MetroWest Moves and Building a Healthy Northborough Co-host First MetroWest Healthy Dining Week

MetroWest Moves and Building a Healthy Northborough cohosted the first “MetroWest Healthy Dining Week” November 1st—10th, 2013. The following seventeen restaurants in Framingham, Hudson, Marlborough, and Northborough participated:

Framingham – Eagles All American Grille, O’Connell’s Pub
Hudson- Checkerboards, Feng Sushi, Harvest Cafe, Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant, The Rail Trail Flatbread Co., Smyles Frozen Yogurt
Marlborough – Clockwork Pizza, Main Street Cafe, Stevie’s Eatery
Northborough – The Bistro@119, Dunkin Donuts, Lalajava, Qdoba Mexican Grill, The Texas BBQ Company, Wegmans

Each of these restaurants has worked with a dietitian to create or modify healthier menu items which meet Massachusetts Department of Public Health criteria for fat, calorie, and sodium content. Customers who ordered an approved meal during the event had the opportunity to win a gift card to a participating restaurant. Participating restaurants were featured in advertisements in the Framingham TAB, Hudson Sun, Marlborough Enterprise, MetroWest Daily News, PATCH, and Shrewsbury, Northboro, and Westboro Telegram Towns. Print and online advertising as well as flyers for the event were distributed throughout the four communities and are estimated to have reached more than 110,200 people.

All of the restaurants that provided feedback after the event said that they would participate again! Continue to check this website for more information about the next MetroWest Healthy Dining Week and be sure to visit one of our Healthy Dining approved restaurants (provide link to list of approved restaurants) If you are a restaurant interested in participating in the healthy dining initiative, e-mail metrowestmoves@jsi.com or call 617.385.3757.

Dental Associates of Marlborough Buying Back Halloween Candy

Dental Associates of Marlborough will be participating in the Candy Buy Back Program, a collaborative effort among local health agencies and other community members to address dental health and childhood obesity. On November 1st, 2013, Dental Associates of Marlborough will be purchasing unopened candy from trick-or-treaters for $1 per pound. To participate, all you need to do is stop by their offices (222 Bolton Street, Marlborough, MA 01752) with your candy. This candy will then be sent to Operation Gratitude, an organization that ships over 100,000 care packages to troops overseas.

“Ditch the candy, that’s what we are saying. Visiting your dentist twice a year and brushing your teeth daily are great preventive measures, but doing away with excess sweets altogether would really give your teeth a healthy boost,” explains Dr. Sanjiv Nehra. “Kids can still have all of the fun of trick-or-treating, and now their piggy banks will benefit and [they will be supporting] our troops!”

Global sugar consumption for kids increases by about 2% annually and is currently about 50 million tons per year. Not only can candy consumption result in tooth decay, the leading childhood disease in the U.S., excessive consumption can also lead to weight gain. By participating in the Candy Buy Back Program, Dental Associates of Marlborough is reiterating its commitment to providing dental services to its patients and its commitment to the overall health of Marlborough youth all while supporting our troops.

For more information regarding the Candy Buy Back Program please call the Dental Associates of Marlborough at 508-485-1800.

MetroWest Photovoice Community Safety Summit

On September 19th, 2013, 23 youth aged 12-17 of the Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest presented their Community Safety Projects at Club Headquarters in Marlborough. Using Photovoice, a participatory action research method by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique, the kids described “what made them feel safe and what made them feel unsafe in their community.” The police department, lifeguards from area pools, MetroWest Boys & Girls Clubs, churches, and parks were highlighted as places that made the kids feel safe, while vacant buildings with graffiti, parks with broken fences, and streets without sidewalks were emphasized as unsafe. The kids shared their findings and recommendations with a number of MetroWest community members including State Representative Kate Hogan, City Councilor Katie Robey, Barry Keppard from MAPC, and Sam Wong, the Director of Public and Community Health Services in Hudson and a member of the MetroWest Moves Steering Committee.

This project was part of the Middlesex Community Transformation Grant, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant awarded to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), which is aimed at preventing chronic disease and improving health. MetroWest Moves, a recipient of the grant, is a tri-community initiative to facilitate opportunities for healthy eating and active, smoke-free living for people who live, work, and play in Framingham, Hudson, and Marlborough.

 

Marlborough Hannaford’s Nutrition Education Services and Programshannaford

As a corporation, Hannaford is committed to helping people to eat healthy by providing them with tools and guidance to support nutritious choices. In particular, the Marlborough Hannaford has put in place unique and extensive free, in-store nutrition education services and programs.

While promoting health through nutrition education is not new to Hannaford, the Marlborough Hannaford has taken the corporate slogan, “Eating healthy is easy, with a little help from Hannaford,” one step further. For example, the store offers free nutrition classes once a month, local business lunch and learns, and individual nutrition counseling with its on-site dietitian, Karen White. The Marlborough Hannaford also offers free tours of its store, teaching people along the way how to properly read food labels and how to shop healthily regardless of any dietary restrictions or constraints. In an attempt to reach and educate people outside of their store, Ms. White has even produced her own nutrition cable TV show, Healthy Bites. With over 25 shows produced, Ms. White is eager to start airing her show locally to educate MetroWest residents.

Through its wide array of services and programs, Marlborough Hannaford is looking to make sure its customers are healthy by providing guidance and resources on how to eat nutritiously.

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