Wellness Strategy Progress Update highlights achievements throughout Richmond

28 February 2022

Over 135 kilometres of walking trails, 80 kilometres of dedicated on and off-street cycling routes, more than 430 community garden plots, and extensive programming to foster social connectedness are just a few of the success stories showcased in the recently released Community Wellness Strategy (2018-2023) Progress Update.

Through the five-year Community Wellness Strategy (2018-2023), Council is investing in the health and well-being of its residents and the community. The strategy outlines a collaborative action plan developed in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health and Richmond School District 38, to improve wellness and strive towards the vision for an active, caring, connected, healthy and thriving Richmond.

While COVID-19 has challenged individual and community health and wellness, a BC Centre for Disease Control survey found Richmond residents actually used the pandemic to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing. For example:

  • 35 per cent of Richmond respondents said they are walking, running or cycling more than before the pandemic.
  • 28 per cent of Richmond respondents said they were eating more fruits and vegetables compared to before the pandemic.

The survey results show how the creation of community places and spaces that make it easier for people to choose healthier lifestyle options is a key to promoting wellness. Richmond’s extensive network of walking and cycling trails, as well as its rich local farming community, encourage active choices.

The Community Wellness Strategy builds on Richmond’s strong inventory of community amenities – complemented by programming and access to various resources – to enable residents to take action to continually improve their health and well-being.

Among some of the other highlights in the report:

  • Walk Richmond continued to encourage residents to improve personal health and make social connections by participating in over 40 free guided walks in City parks each year.
  • Richmond participants logged over nine million minutes of physical activity in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge in June 2021, reinforcing Richmond’s status as one of Canada’s healthiest communities.
  • The City boasts over 430 individual community garden plots with approximately 200 new individual plots planned for the future.
  • The Resilient Streets project provided micro-grants for residents to host neighbour-led events, helping to build social connections within their communities.
  • The City Snow Angels Program continued to recruit volunteers who gave over 63 hours of their time to remove snow for residents with mobility challenges so they could remain connected to their community despite heavy snowfall.
  • Over 30 phone-in programs were offered for seniors to increase connectedness. The programs have had almost 150 participants to date.
  • The City’s Community Mural Program encouraged local artists to create engaging public spaces and fostered social connections through almost a dozen murals developed through collaboration and a shared community vision.
  • Richmond expanded funding of the “Ride the Road” cycling education program to include all Grade 6 and 7 students in School District 38, providing lifelong knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to cycle safely for fun and transportation.
  • The continued development of transportation infrastructure to encourage active transportation and improve equitable mobility and access. Richmond now boasts almost 80 km of cycling routes comprised of on-street routes and off-street bike paths, greenways and multi-use paths.
  • The City, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, Urban Bounty, and UBC Land and Food Systems, launched an online Food Asset Map to show where residents can grow, prepare, share, buy, receive or learn about food and how to support Richmond’s local farm community.

Through continued collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health and Richmond School District 38, the City is committed to the strategic actions set out in the Community Wellness Strategy (2018-2023) to support healthy, active and involved lifestyles for all Richmond residents.

A highlight video, updates on progress and future achievements will be shared online. The Community Wellness Strategy (2018-2023) Progress Update can be found at www.richmond.ca/wellness.