OAKLAND, DISTRICT INK $1 MILLION HEALTH + WELLNESS PARTNERSHIP
Residents living in Oakland, Fla., neighboring communities and visitors to west Orange County will soon have a vibrant, new place to take part in programs and activities to improve their overall health.
In February 2019, the town began construction of a community gathering space at the corner of N. Tubb Street and the West Orange Trail, adjacent to Oakland’s town hall. Now, with a $1 million grant from the West Orange Healthcare District, the facility will transform into the West Orange Healthcare District Arts & Heritage Center and will be dedicated to improving community health and wellness through health, arts and heritage programming.
With the grant funding, the new center will:
- offer regular nutrition and fitness programs coordinated with the District’s “Healthy West Orange” team and its local healthcare partners
- host health screenings and back-to-school physicals through partners like Shepherd’s Hope
- feature vegetable and herb gardens with educational signage on the benefits of eating well
- include safe and secure bike racks to encourage neighbors to pedal to and from the center and make better use of the West Orange Trail
“The partnership with the West Orange Healthcare District is a natural fit for the Town of Oakland with our focus on a healthy lifestyle and a dedication to our heritage and the arts,” shared Mayor Kathy Stark. “This partnership will allow additional programming for our residents and visitors along the West Orange Trail and will be a wonderful gathering place to socialize or just sit on the porch and rock as you enjoy the beauty of the big oaks and the activity along the trail. We are very grateful for the support and trust of the District and look forward to the opening of the Center this winter.”
In addition to naming rights, the District will also be recognized in signage on the building’s large wraparound porch, along pathways leading to the center, in gardens and on several planned bike racks. A sculpture of Westly, the mascot for Healthy West Orange, will be located on town property located along the trail.
“Oakland is an important part of our area and is perfectly situated at the county’s western gateway, so we saw this partnership as a terrific opportunity to put our mission into action,” said District CEO Tracy Swanson. “We are also impressed with Oakland’s commitment to its residents’ wellbeing and look forward to collaborating on many new ways to encourage health and wellness.”