First annual Jacksonville Baby Buggy Walk in the Park a success!

DSCN2605The community came together on September 13 to bring awareness to infant mortality at the inaugural Jacksonville Baby Buggy Walk in the Park.

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition hosted the city’s first annual walk along with cities across the country in honor of National Infant Mortality Awareness month.  The event emphasizes the important role of parents and the community as a whole in preventing infant deaths and promoting health birth outcomes, particularly in minority communities.

Event-goers participated in a health festival and 2.2 mile fitness walk at the Magnolia Project, a federal Healthy Start program in the Jacksonville urban core aimed at improving the health of women prior to pregnancy. The free family event provided an opportunity for families to come together for exercise and fun activities, receive valuable health information and screenings and enjoy a fun day in the park.

NIMAM_LOGO_FINALMoms and dads were pushing babies in their buggies and community members walked in honor of babies that died and to celebrate the babies that made it to their first birthday. After the walk, attendees had an opportunity to speak with various vendors whose focus was on healthy lifestyle and eating. Children who attended were able to listen to a story from a local storyteller from the public library, get their face painted and play arts/crafts. To wrap up the day, participants had the opportunity to participate in a Zumba demonstration.

The Baby Buggy Walk is a unique event that was developed in 2012 by Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. with a goal of empowering women of the reproductive age and mothers to take care of their health and the health of their children through education with a theme of fitness, fun, and family.

The Coalition would like to give a big thanks to our generous sponsors and donors; community leaders, volunteers and everyone who came out and made the event a success! A special thanks from the support of our local legislators for speaking on the importance of the event. Speakers included Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Senator Audrey Gibson and Representative Mia Jones.