We believe that health and place are inextricably linked. Healthy people require healthy environments where they can live, work, play and learn. This includes places and spaces created or modified by people including buildings, parks, land use patterns, and transportation systems. This “built environment” has profound consequences for individual and community health.
Residents from all communities and leaders from all economic sectors across Whatcom County contributed their ideas and priorities to a new community-wide vision that looks generations ahead to answer a fundamental question: How can we, as a community, make the best decisions possible based on the goals we have in common? The project is a new long-term vision for the future of Whatcom County that focuses on quality of life for everyone in our community. Most importantly, it cuts across the typical silos of economic development, environmental sustainability and equitable access to opportunities. All of these components are interrelated and interdependent. The project is entitled Whatcom Futures: Toward a Sustainable Economy. The final vision will serve as a reference that community leaders can confidently leverage as a foundation for investments in critical projects and plans throughout the county for many years.
In 2010, the Whatcom Community Foundation (Foundation) received funding from the Convergence Partnership, a nationwide philanthropic collaboration that helps communities foster health, prosperity and well-being for their residents. The Foundation’s goal was to build on the decades of local “healthy communities” work which includes topics ranging from traditional physical and mental health to the economy, education, the environment, and more. Healthy communities are a combination of things that individuals can do (e.g., exercise, healthy diet and the like) and things, like long range planning, that community members do together. Whatcom Futures exemplifies the latter.
March 2015 Whatcom County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (PDF)