Union County 4-H is on a mission to hit the ground running with the fourth ‘H’--Health! In a recent study, Union County is listed as the unhealthiest county in the state of Florida. In response, in 2015 UF/IFAS Extension Union County partnered with community leaders to initiate the first inaugural “Running 4-Health Green Glow 5k Walk/Run.” Part of Union County’s “Move Union Up” initiative, the walk/run grew out of a 4-H club member’s idea to take fear and drudgery out of exercise and replace them with fun for families and friends. Most of the 78 participants hailed from Union County, but the event attracted a few from surrounding communities in Gainesville, Baker County, and the Panhandle as well. Intended to help children and families spend quality time together while learning healthy lifestyle habits, the event introduced several first-time walk/runners to the activity and showed them that they didn’t have to be in perfect shape to have a good time and successfully finish an athletic event. Best of all, in 2016 for the first time since at least 2011, the county has moved up a notch in the rankings. The ultimate goal is still ahead, but Union County is on the move and proud of its progress.
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