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Communication is included as one of four overarching strategies in the Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan because
it has been shown to contribute to the success of environmental and policy changes. As an example, use of trails and paths increases when information is provided on signs or through media coverage. Many communities in Washington are working to increase awareness of recreational opportunities and have adopted varied communication strategies and tools. Some examples include:
As part of the Moses Lake Healthy Communities Project, the Trail Planning Team (TPT) has worked to create an activity trails system for exercise, transportation, and tourism. The trails are marked with easily recognizable signs that were made and installed by the city's Streets Division. The sign pictured on the right marks a safe pedestrian crossing completed by the TPT in 2006. The TPT also partnered with the city's Park and Recreation Department to publish an Activity Trails & Paths Map that has been popular with both residents and visitors.
King County Parks developed a series of customized postage stamps with "Support Parks!" messaging that are produced and marketed by Zazzle, an online marketplace for custom-printed items. The stamps feature 39 different images highlighting the range of recreational opportunities available throughout the parks system. While sales of the stamps have generated some funds, they primarily serve as an outreach tool.
The Mount Vernon Healthy Communities Project includes an insert highlighting its activities in the quarterly "Recreation and Leisure Guide" published in the Skagit Valley Herald. The guide includes information on recreational opportunities offered through the county's and cities' Parks and Recreation programs, the YMCA, and other community organizations.
The "Cowlitz on the Move" Web site developed by Cowlitz County's Healthy Lifestyle Coalition includes an Active Resource guide. The guide is organized by activity and provides access to a variety or resources including related organizations, trails maps, and parks and recreation programs.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Community Guide to Preventive Services. Available: http://www.thecommunityguide.org
Featured: Winter 2008