After a six-month planning period, Cedar Rapids is kicking off the wellness initiative known as the Blue Zones Project. So far, Cedar Rapids is the largest Iowa community selected as a demonstration site for the program.
Blue Zones Director Mary Lawyer says the kickoff marks the beginning of a new phase.
"We're going to be out working with organizations such as work sites, restaurants, schools, grocery stores," Lawyer says. "This is the exciting part of the project, where we actually start to see things happening."
There are now 18 Blue Zones communities across the state. Two weeks ago, the city of Decorah decided to opt out of the program and focus on county-wide initiatives.