COLUMBIA, Mo. - First established in 1999, the Mayor's Council for Physical Fitness and Health was originally dedicated to building a community center. They achieved that goal with the opening of the Activity and Recreation Center, also referred to as the ARC.
In recent years, there have been departures from the council and new members have been added, so the council decided it was time for an upgrade.
"One of the big projects of the early council was the ARC," said Taylor Burks, vice chair for the Mayor's Council of Physical Fitness and Health. "And there were a couple years where members left, the council became a little more inactive than in the past. So the last two years, we've had a concerted effort to bring in new members, get more involved and rebrand what our council does so we can play a role in what physical fitness and education is here in Columbia.
Burks has been on the council for about two years and got involved to help promote and support Columbia's existing health and fitness benefits.
"Columbia is a town that has a lot of outdoor activities, parks and trails, stuff like that," Burks said. "It’s one of our biggest community assets and it’s one of the reasons my wife and I decided to settle here."
During Tuesday's meeting, the group discussed how they can rebrand themselves and make themselves more known in the community. One idea was to create the group's first website that would feature a community calendar to which residents can add fitness and health events.
"So not necessarily reinventing the wheel by creating new things but by adding value to the existing activities that are already going on," said Liz Raine, who has been on the council for about three months.
The council also discussed the possibility of sponsoring their own event or working with another group targeted to children at the Columbia Farmers' Market over the summer months.
"There are also studies that show if kids are more active physically or if they are taking care of their health through school activities or community activities, parents are likely to follow along with that," Raine said. "So it brings in another population in addition to the kids."