WHO WE ARE
HumPAL is an innovative, multi-disciplinary effort to address the relationship of land use choices, community design and public health by:
- Implementing small projects designed to increase physical activity;
- Prioritizing use of scarce resources;
- and Analyzing and addressing related land use policy issues.
The desire to pursue a holistic approach to public health has brought together a diverse group of people dedicated to finding innovative, cost-effective ways to improve services for the most at-risk populations in the county. The Partnership includes professional leaders from traffic, public works, and planning departments, County Public Health, Humboldt State University, non-motorized transportation planners and activists, nutrition and education advocates and service providers, senior advocacy organizations, and members of neighborhood groups.
HumPAL participants believe that working to increase physical activity through policy and programmatic change is an excellent way to prevent chronic disease in at-risk populations on a large scale; research suggests that physical activity is essential for both individual and public health.
Arcata Plaza, Arcata, CA
WHAT WE DO
Since its formation, HumPAL has been able to catalyze a new regard for and approach to reducing the health impacts of our built environment. We introduce seemlingly disparate groups to each other and help them work together - for instance public health staff and transportation engineers, or senior advocates with active transportation advocates. With strength in its diversity, this partnership reaches across institutional, organizational, bureaucratic and cultural barriers to help communities as well as particular populations (elders, schools) identify tangible ways to increase access to an active and healthy lifestyle.
We fill gaps
Through a diverse partnership and a variety of projects, HumPAL identifies and works to fill gaps in at all levels of a community with projects that encourage collaboration between seemingly dissimilar organizations and groups. Some examples include:
- Safe Routes to Schools: encouraging schools and transportation departments to work together to improve the ability of families and children to walk and bike to school.
- Walkability Audits: bringing community members, local government, schools and/or businesses together to identify ways to improve pedestrian safety.
Perhaps HumPAL's greatest strength lies in the role as a convener of groups that are not accustomed to working together. HumPAL is able to facilitate interaction of these groups through research, education, outreach policy recommendations, and project work. When unconventional partnerships are established, groups that make decisions about the built environment and that are impacted by the built environment have new paths for seeking different solutions to active living challenges.
We build capacity
HumPAL shares cutting edge information and connections with the community. By attending both local and out-of-area trainings, staff and partners are able to share current information about Active Living by Design tools and resources, social marketing and media advocacy techniques, land use and active transportation planning and school wellness efforts.
HumPAL has also been able to bring renowned members of the health and built environment fields to Humboldt County to share knowledge and resources.HumPAL brings home tools and techniques originally created for more urban environments and adapts them to Humboldt County's unique rural setting. HumPAL has established a reputation as a creative and effective resource for converting urban resources into rural applications.
Lafayette Elementary Walkability Audit, Eureka, CA
Warfinger Building, Eureka, CA