‘Blue Zones Day’ celebrations in Klamath Falls

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Klamath Falls’ Mayor Carol Westfall announced March 12 will be known as “Blue Zones Day.” The announcement came two months after the community made the announcement that after 6 years of hard work, Klamath Falls became the first certified Blue Zones Community in the Pacific Northwest.

The local Blue Zones Project initiative encourages all Oregon communities to optimize their surroundings to make the healthy choice the easy choice. This initiative is intended to inspire community members to improve their well-being. Cambia Health Foundation, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Cascade Health Alliance, the City of Klamath Falls, and Klamath County provided financial backing to support the project in Klamath Falls.

In 2015, Klamath Falls was selected to be the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, local leaders, volunteers, and organizations throughout the community have worked to achieve certification status.

To celebrate Blue Zones Day, local leaders say they have a full day of COVID-appropriate events planned. They say the day will not only celebrate the community certification achievement, but also the 2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health prize, which honors U.S. communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all.

Residents of Klamath Falls are asked to wear their Blue Zones Project t-shirts on March 12, 2021 and share in the well-being journey, by participating virtually, from a distance, or in-person by registering at www.healthyklamath.org/bluezonesday.

A ribbon cutting ceremony planned for 9 am at Sugarman’s Corner in downtown Klamath Falls will be live streamed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluezonesprojectklamathfalls. For more information about the certified Blue Zones Community achievement, please visit www.healthyklamath.org/bluezonescertified.

Currently, 56 communities across North America have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.8 million citizens. The population health solution includes two Health Districts in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Corry, Pennsylvania; Brevard, North Carolina; the Walla Walla Valley in Washington; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

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Madison LaBerge
Madison LaBerge is the anchor of NBC5 News Weekends at 6 and 11. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Madison is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She can't get over "how green everything is!" When Madison is not at work, she looks for new and exciting cooking recipes and explores Southern Oregon. Feel free to send her story ideas or the address of your favorite Mexican food restaurant!