Live Well Watertown began as a collaborative initiative between Watertown’s Community Development and Planning and Health Departments and a group of Watertown residents, whose shared goal was to promote healthy living and identify opportunities to build wellness into the fabric of the community.
In 2012, a Metropolitan Area Planning Council grant supported a project to assess healthy living and wellness in Watertown. The following work was completed:
- Stakeholder interviews with town officials and community groups
- Document review of Town ordinances and plans relating to planning and health
- Online Community Wellness Survey to assess active living and healthy eating habits among Watertown residents
- Baseline Report
In 2013, a Watertown Community Foundation grant supported the development of a website for the group’s work and the name Live Well Watertown (LWW) was chosen. Soon after, a Community Health Network Area (CHNA)-17 grant was awarded to Healthy Waltham and Live Well Watertown. The funds supported the ongoing development of LWW and the implementation of the report findings of the surveys and interviews done the year before. The following goals were outlined:
- Incorporate wellness into the Comprehensive Plan
- Create a community-wide wellness policy
- Work with the School Wellness Committee on updating School Department’s Wellness Policy
In the spring of 2014, CHNA-17 funded a project called Launching Live Well Watertown, with the expanded goal of finding synergies between community groups whose mission and efforts focus on wellness, and building partnerships between them, as a path to developing a vibrant community health coalition. Grant funding from CHNA-17, Mount Auburn Hospital, and local foundations, as well as funds from the Health Department supported the continued work of Live Well Watertown and the coordinator for the W.A.T.E.R.town Task Force for Substance Use Disorders, through June of 2017.
In the summer of 2017, the Town dedicated funding to a new Community Wellness Program Manager position for the Health Department, to oversee ongoing community wellness and healthy aging initiatives and the Watertown Farmer’s Market.