Hidalgo County has the highest percentage of adult obesity in the state of Texas.
In order to decrease the 43%. The CDC has funded ‘the Working on Wellness Project’ across the county.
David Arce, Weslaco Parks & Recreation Director says, “Here at Harlon Block Park, we’re going to go from a decomposed granite trail to a 10-foot paved trail.
It’s a $75,000 project that will soon make it easier for Weslaco residents to exercise.
David Arce, “Maintenance wise for the city, it’s a good idea. And on the roller bladers that like to rollerblade, they’re like ‘Oh, great! We get to go out there and rollerblade as well’ not just for the walkers and runners. So it hits a different target as well.”
But this Weslaco trail upgrade is just one piece of a much larger county-wide project that is meant to increase accessibility to exercise and promote healthy eating.
Andrea Valdez Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, “In Weslaco, they wanted to focus on increasing connectivity with their bike lanes and connect different parks to nature centers and different areas throughout their city.”
Bikers will see more designated bike lanes to help them get around a little more safely. And while some park-goers aren’t too happy with the idea of a paved trail, others say they hope it helps more people exercise.
Silvia Arreola, Weslaco resident, “I come here very often. It helps me a lot as an old person. And it’s looking nicer, and the machines here for everybody to walk, and I desire for more people to come exercise because we all need to exercise.”
The Working on Wellness Project is also targeting south McAllen and Peñitas. For the first time, San Carlos residents have a farmers market to increase access to fresh fruit and veggies.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offers a variety of health based workshops to help residents on the road to healthy lifestyles. If you would like more information on these free workshops, you can call the number on the bottom of your screen.