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The Healthiest State Initiative has announced the finalists for the 2021 Healthiest State Annual Awards.
Nominated in the individual category is Kate Zimmerman, director of Ringgold County Conservation.
The city of Creston is also a finalist for the Healthy Hometown community award.
In her letter nominating Zimmerman for the award, Rana Scarlett of the Southern Iowa Council of Governments described Zimmerman as a “key leader within the Ringgold County Wellness Coalition” and highlighted her efforts to enhance recreational facilities at Liberty Lake, formerly known as the “old lake.”
“Kate drew from community insight and health needs to develop a multi-stage, long-range plan for Liberty Lake,” Scarlett wrote. “After a mere two years of stewardship, the plan is in Phase 3 which will see the installation of primitive cabins and a campgrounds at Liberty Lake. Future visioning will bring a walking trail around the Lake that connects to the adjacent town and the necessary signage to educate and promote active lifestyles.”
Scarlett continued, “Her commitment and leadership created a strong base of community support which opened the door for significant accomplishments including: securing a $100,000 competitive Land and Water Conservation Fund grant through the National Park Service and a $25,000 private donation toward the match requirement.”
Individuals, communities, K-12 schools, early care providers, out-of-school programs, health care providers and workplaces will be recognized for their efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans.
All finalists will participate in virtual awards ceremonies that will be aired February 15–18 on Facebook Live. Winners will be announced and awarded a monetary gift to continue their work in 2021.
The Healthiest State Annual Awards are sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health and Nemours.