Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

October 9, 2012

Ottumwa, Oskaloosa are Blue Zone finalists


OSKALOOSA — Ottumwa and Oskaloosa are both finalists for designation as Blue Zone communities.

Fairfield was named as one of nine demonstration sites among small communities.

The Blue Zones Project is part of an initiative designed to improve the health of Iowa residents by promoting activity. Communities selected for Blue Zone designation will receive assistance from experts to make changes that help residents lead healthier lifestyles.

Fairfield's entry into the program marks the addition of small communities (under 10,000 residents). Four pilot sites with more than 10,000 residents were named Blue Zone communities in May.

Both Ottumwa and Oskaloosa sought to become Blue Zone communities in the first round, though they fell short.  Ottumwa was a finalist. Tuesday's announcement marks the first time Oskaloosa has made the finals.

Six of the 12 finalists will be named Blue Zone communities in January 2013.