Live Well Waco Asset Map: The Road to a Healthier Lifestyle

by CeRon Ford

Cheeseburgers and French fries have you down in the gutter? Tired of paying for expensive salads at drive-thru restaurants? Do you want to work out but not sure where to go? No need to waste any more time searching for the most affordable salad or settling for just any gym– we have everything mapped out just for you!

Ever heard of the Live Well Waco (LWW) Asset Map? No? Well, you may want to pay close attention to this. Live Well Waco is a coalition dedicated to improving the health of people living, working and playing in McLennan County. The Live Well Waco Coalition began more than 5 years ago as a collaborative effort between community businesses, organizations, and individuals who are dedicated to the health of McLennan County residents.  LWW focuses on improving area health disparities by hosting events such as community cooking demonstrations, physical activity programs, and more. The Live Well Waco Leadership team created the asset map to promote a better understanding of diversity within the community while helping community members locate fresh produce and healthy foods, exercise facilities, healthcare facilities, and other local resources.

The asset map includes a list of locations that provide access to healthy living opportunities all within the City of Waco. With the LWW Asset Map, we want to help protect and conserve the local traditions, customs, and resources that are prevalent in Waco, Texas.

Maps can often be tricky, but the best way to learn is just to dive in!

Here’s the link: www.batchgeo.com/map/livewellwaco

And here are some tips for using it! :

Use the drop-down box located in the bottom left hand corner to select the category that you want to search. The 4 categories are type of space, quality, neighborhood, and amenities. To narrow down the locations shown in the map, you can select one group or multiple groups shown as the colorful circles to the right of the drop down box. For example, “Type of Space” would be the category, and “Store with Produce, Agency, and Public Space” would be considered groups. You can further target your search or search by other criteria by changing the category from the drop down box and selecting additional groups to the right of the box. As you select the groups, they appear in gray boxes, and if you want to delete a selection, just click the “X” on the left hand side of the gray box.

Here is what you will find within each category.

Type of Space:

  • Stores with produce- includes grocery and convenience stores
  • Agency- social service agencies
  • Public Space- free space for exercise such as parks
  • Gym- locations of gyms to engage in physical activity
  • Healthcare- locations to access health screenings or vaccinations
  • Recreational Facility- locations of community centers
  • Other- locations that do not fit into the previous categories such as libraries where access to a computer is available

Quality:

  • Healthy Living- includes locations for accessing healthy lifestyles
  • Healthy Eating- includes locations with fresh produce or healthy food options
  • Active Living- includes locations that offer free or low cost opportunities to exercise

Neighborhood: If applicable, the locations are broken into which neighborhoods the assets are located. For example: Lacy Lakeview, Kendrick, Bellmead, University, Waco and Others.

Amenities: If available, different assets are listed such as locations where playgrounds are located. For example: Playgrounds, outside fields, Library, fresh produce, school w/ playground, Playgrounds and Others.

The colorful circles on the map represent the groups within the different categories you have selected, which is shown in the image below. Click on a circle inside the map to see detailed information about the location. To look at another location click the “X” on the right hand side of the box or simply click on another circle.

To view a list of all the locations shown on the map, first, make sure your cursor is not hovering over the map and then scroll down the page. Under the black square you will see the locations itemized in a list format. This list will change as you select specific categories and groups.  You can also use the scroll bar located on the right hand side of the page.

To zoom in and out of a specific area on the map: (1) Use the + and – signs located on the left hand side of the map (2) Click on the map in the area with the circles and use your mouse to scroll forward to zoom in or backwards to zoom out.

The Live Well Waco Asset Map is an awesome tool that helps providers and community residents identify assets and strengths around the community. Types of resources are clearly and easily categorized into stores with produce, local agencies, public spaces, gyms, healthcare facilities and recreational facilities across the great City of Waco, Texas. The LWW Asset Map can save you time and money as well as improve your quality of life, so let’s SHARE it! By promoting the LWW Asset Map tool within local clinics, doctor’s offices, local food banks, and through other local organizations, we can provide this asset map as a public service to the entire community so that patients, clients, and partners can support and encourage one another to make healthier lifestyle choices. The LWW Asset Map is already linked to the Live Well Waco website, but the opportunity to spread awareness of this great resource on other organizations’ and partners’ websites will go a long way.

The Asset Map tool not only provides a visual representation of local businesses and resources, but it also provides valuable information that will ultimately help all community residents lead a healthier lifestyle. The time to improve healthy eating and increase physical activity is NOW! Let the Live Well Waco Asset Map guide you to health and success! Although the journey is not easy, Live Well Waco Coalition challenges you to take the highway and merge into a healthier lifestyle!


CeRon Ford moved to Waco in August 2013 to attend Baylor University. He received his Bachelors of Science in Public Health, and had the opportunity to intern at the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District as a Live Well Waco intern during his final summer in Waco. CeRon will further his efforts of pursuing public health by attending Morehouse School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health Program in Atlanta, Georgia, In the Fall 2017.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

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