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February 15, 2017

Jersey Shore town named best in state for health and wellness

Awards Wellness
021517_StoneHarborhome Stone Harbor Recreation/Facebook

Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

If you're looking for a model of the good life in New Jersey, state officials would point you toward a popular Jersey Shore town to understand what community health and wellness is all about.

The New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute this week handed out its 2016 New Jersey Healthy Town award to Stone Harbor, the peaceful Cape May County borough that has long been a top destination for travelers to the Jersey Shore.

Chosen by the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Stone Harbor got the recognition because of a variety of activities and programs the town offers:

• Weekly Walks: A weekly, low-impact walk around different locations in Stone Harbor explores various routes on the island, including the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.

• Free Fitness Center Passes: Six free passes were given to MWC participants to help them get comfortable with gym equipment and to receive a free nutritional consultation.

• Healthy Restaurants: Local restaurants participated in the MWC by offering healthy menu specials weekly, and by listing nutritional content and calorie counts.

Launched in 2006, the MWC aims to leverage local leadership to prioritize health and wellness in communities statewide. In a decade, the program has grown to encompass 380 or the New Jersey's 565 municipalities. The Healthy Town designation, awarded for the previous calendar year, recognizes mayors and communities that have found creative ways to engage youth, seniors, employees and the overall community health-promoting activities.

The MWC also named Highland Park (Middlesex County) and Hanover Township (Morris County) as Healthy Towns To Watch.

“So many of our towns are marshaling their resources to improve the health of their residents —from organized community walks to yoga on the beach to healthy farmer’s markets,” said Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “We know the strong leadership of our mayors can help build healthier communities and engage residents to lead healthier lives.”