By Edie Jeffers
TACOMA – Want to learn how health, the environment and the economy are linked? Join your neighbors to share your ideas to improve the health and quality of life in Pierce County at a community forum May 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the University of Puget Sound, Wheelock Student Center.
At the event, a series of speakers will engage the audience in topics that range from trends for environmental quality to practical tips on how to create healthier communities. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will gather community input from the event to use in its 2014 Pierce County Environmental Health Trends report.
“Environmental quality and a strong economy are inextricably linked,” said Frank DiBiase, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s assistant division director of Environmental Health. “We want to engage the community in conversation about how community health and a strong economy can lead to improved quality of life for everyone,” he said.
Speakers include David Batker, local author of What’s the Economy For, Anyway? who will deliver his vision of a new economy that values our health and environment. Kate Stirling, University of Puget Sound Economics Professor and HIPinthe253 co-founder, will share community data on what factors influence our happiness. Ellen Gray, Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, Jane Moore, Coalition for Active Transportation, and Andrew Green, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, will discuss how farmland, air quality and neighborhood environment impact our health and economy and gather input about what we can do to improve them.
Pierce County Councilmember and Board of Health Chair Stan Flemming, Hilltop Urban Gardens founder Dean Jackson, and South Hill resident Patty Villa will share how they have helped make their communities healthier and happier.