From the Met Council's Newsletter: Belle Plaine: Healthy people, healthy city

The city of Belle Plaine may be comparatively small, with an estimated population of more than 7,000. But it has big aspirations in its Destination Belle Plaine 2040 plan, with goals of stewardship, long-term economic prosperity, social equity, livability and sustainability.

“Resilient City, Resilient People” is a set of strategies included in the plan’s chapter on Community Health, Wellness and Resilience.

“Central to the city’s approach to enhancing resilience is the concept that people who are capable of bouncing back from chronic stresses and acute challenges create businesses, institutions and systems, and ultimately communities that are capable of the same,” said Community Development Director Cynthia Smith Strack.

Strack says the City’s goals and policies focus on the need for a supportive community environment that advances the health, safety and well-being of residents.

“As a community, we are committed to demonstrating courage to face complex and sensitive issues directly, engaging multiple voices, reflecting on lessons of the past to inform our future, and actively invest in contingency planning,” said Strack.

City goals and policies:

  • Promote physical and mental health wellness
  • Increase the capacity of residents to adapt and grow in the face of adversity
  • Promote safe and sanitary conditions in work, play and housing
  • Support quality health care
  • Encourage leadership and problem-solving
  • Promote access to healthy and safe food
  • Ensure available and quality public safety services
  • Promote “Great Governance”
  • Foster community participation
  • Strack says city officials are encouraged by a series of Community Conversations in city parks and public spaces.

“These events bring city staff and residents together for the simple purpose of listening and learning from each other,” she said. “We expect to do this more often.”

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