Access to green spaces helps prevent childhood obesity

July 24, 2014


Active Green Space is a new program at McCormick Tribune Y that is improving the health and wellness of children and families in the underserved neighborhoods of Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Hermosa. "

In several communities served by the YMCA of Metro Chicago, nearly half of the children aged 2-12 are considered obese. The Active Green Space program at the McCormick Tribune Y, which launched last summer, is enhancing the health and wellness of residents in the underserved neighborhoods of Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Hermosa.

“We need to find ways to make healthy living habits more interesting and accessible to our community,” said Illinois State Senator William Delgado, who recently visited McCormick Tribune Y. “Facilities like the YMCA are indispensable. Their Active Green Space is just another innovative way to move our community forward.”

More than 500 preschool and school-aged children, parents, staff and community members, have benefited from educational activities, workshops, demonstrations, professional development opportunities and field trips. Every two weeks, local chefs teach healthy cooking demonstrations using organic vegetables and eggs from the program.

“My kids really enjoy learning about plants and how they grow,” said Y member Patricia Jamal. “The Y is very family-oriented. I can work out, socialize and participate in different educational activities with them.”

The program offers a multi-use space with a community garden, chicken coop, physical activity area, outdoor classroom, butterfly garden and a green energy education component that includes a compost area. Three 50-gallon jugs collect and store rainwater, and a wind turbine powers the irrigation system that distributes this water to the garden.

“Active Green Space is an urban oasis that provides a holistic approach to improving the health and overall well-being of not only YMCA members, but the entire community,” said Adriana Stanovici, health and wellness manager.

The Y aims to expand Active Green Space to other centers across Chicagoland. The program is supported by Banco Popular, Museum of Science and Industry, Northwestern University, The Chicago Community Trust, University of Illinois Extension and Wynndalco, Inc.

Contact Adriana Stanovici to get involved.

Make a donation to the YMCA.