Oklahoma Spotlight: City’s Focus on Quality of Life Leads to Wins in Active Transportation

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Pictured L-R: Ron Frantz, Hope Mander, both of IQC; Kayla McCarter, Texas County HLP Coordinator; Matt Nahrstedt, and Doug Moore of IBTS-City of Guymon.

The Guymon Wellness Group works together on creating a healthier community for Guymon, Oklahoma.

How did this collaboration start?

Several local partners teamed up to establish the group in September 2016, including the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities (IQC), Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), the City of Guymon, and the TSET Healthy Living Program (HLP) at the Texas County Health Department.

IBTS was working to redevelop the City of Guymon’s Comprehensive Plan, and they sought the Healthy Living Program’s assistance in helping pull together the quality of life portion of the plan. The plan started from a small paragraph and ended with over 70 comprehensive pages on quality of life. Much of the language is in line with complete streets, clean indoor/outdoor air, an active transportation plan, Safe Routes to School, and supporting or taking part in Certified Healthy Oklahoma Programs.

What has the Guymon Wellness Group done?

The City of Guymon 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update was adopted by the City Council in April 2017 (read more, and see the plan here).

This planning process opened the opportunity for University of Oklahoma Institute of Quality Communities to come in and do a two-day walkability / bikeability audit and help the Wellness Group create a document that would help identify low and high hanging fruits to address. The product of this assessment, titled “Guymon Works,” was adopted in September 2017 and will be used as the “work plan” to implement the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

The group presented on their work to change policy, promote healthy living and enhance the quality of life at Leading Together, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council’s 20th Annual Conference in August 2017.

What’s next?

This partnership has opened up many doors. With these documents and the great efforts of the Guymon Wellness Group, a tobacco-free policy for city owned/operated properties within the City of Guymon was passed as of October 2017, after over 6 years. The Guymon Wellness Group has now turned its attention to implementing the policy.

We are also waiting for a combined healthy food retail (G3) and active living & transportation (G4) resolution to be created to address wellness at the government- and city-levels within the City of Guymon.

“Because of this new wellness shift and the community members being a part of each step of the comprehensive plan and OU project, we have 100% buy in. It has opened many opportunities for not only the local Healthy Living Program grant, but for our community as a whole.”
–Kayla McCarter, Texas County Health Department
For More Information

Interested in adopting a similar initiative? Get in touch with Kayla McCarter to learn about her experience working with the collaborators in the Guymon Wellness Group.


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