More than 170 volunteers from IU Health North and Saxony hospitals and elsewhere descended on Cool Creek Park in Westfield Sept. 14 to participate in the 10th annual IU Health Day of Service. The goal is to address obesity by beautifying parks for residents to use.
“Our day of service this year really aligns with our healthy weight and nutrition efforts in addressing the community need,” said Alicia Schulhof, president of the IU Health north suburban area. “We know there is a direct tie and correlation that active park users are less likely to be overweight than those who are not. We are trying to make sure we’re making our communities friendly for physical activity and use.”
This is the third consecutive year Cool Creek Park was chosen as the site for the Day of Service. Volunteers worked in two shifts to add elements to a nature play area, paint and beautify common areas and shelters and landscape within the park.
“I know many of our employees felt like we could build upon the work that was done last year,” Schulhof said.
IU Health has partnered with the Hamilton County Parks Dept. for seven years to identify what areas need the most attention.
“They said they plan for it and get excited for it each year,” Schulhof said. “They do a big splash with their team wanting them to help guide and design the work each year. It rallies team members from across the parks together as one.”
The day of volunteering makes an impact on IU Health employees as well.
“I think this is one of the activities that our team members look forward to and rally behind every year,” Schulhof said. “This year, because it was our 10th anniversary, people took such great pride in saying they have been here all 10 years. It’s a way to live the mission in a different way for a day and give back to the community.”