HORICON — Blue Zones Project Dodge County held a ribbon-cutting celebration Sunday for Sacred Heart Parish, the first faith-based community to become Blue Zones Project approved in Dodge County.

Blue Zones Project Dodge County is a well-being improvement initiative, designed to make healthy choices easier through sustainable changes to environment, policy and social networks.

“Blue Zones Project helps us build community,” said the Rev. Mike Petrie at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “The more we live together in relationship, the more our physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health improves. These are all things that help to build us up as the body of Christ so that we are living out the Eucharist during the week and not only on Sundays.”

To earn this designation, Sacred Heart parishioners formed a wellness committee and hosted a purpose workshop for parishioners last fall allowing the opportunity for individuals to reconnect with their personal purpose and consider what drives them each day.

The group organized parish family games nights and plant slant potluck events. Several parish members have also joined potluck and walking moais.

A bike rack was donated to the parish. Blue Zones Project parking spots were painted to encourage members to add more natural movement to their day. The hospitality snacks following Sunday Mass service now regularly include fruit, vegetables and infused water, in addition to the traditional sweet treats. During the growing season, parishioners donated excess produce from their gardens to the Sacred Heart Food Pantry. Members set up a free produce exchange table. Parishioners brought in excess produce and anyone was welcomed and encouraged to take the produce home.

The Blue Zones Project was brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, in collaboration with Sharecare. For more information, call 920-212-8511, or visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.