(IAP ’18 FELLOW) Lisette Tellez, ’18
Entry 3: Live Well & Eat Well
March 18th, 2018
Shortly after my last post, there was an Eat Well Watertown event during which various local chefs showcased healthy winter soup recipes. The event absolutely made my day; not only because the soup was wonderful but also because the new Live Well Watertown website was showcased during the event. Stephanie, my community partner, announced the new website at the beginning of the event, and then it was up on the projector in the front of the room the rest of the evening.
Stephanie & Lisette at the Eat Well Watertown Event
I was able to walk around and talk to multiple community members during the event, who all gave very helpful feedback. This was particularly important to me because my main priority was to make the site easy to use and enjoyable for everyone in the town, and this event was a great opportunity to gauge that. About a week after the Eat Well event, the Live Well Watertown Steering Committee also gave great feedback, which contributed to the remaining updates that were made to the website.
In addition to the website, I focused on making changes to the other tools that are commonly used for Live Well Watertown and the Farmers’ Market. That included making it easier for people to sign up for the Live Well Watertown and Farmers’ Market newsletters, as well as making the newsletters and mailing lists easier to manage. It also included updating social media accounts and calendars, with the goal of having consistent, clear messaging across all online channels related to Live Well Watertown and the Farmers’ Market. The last important component of the project was to put together documentation for each of these tools so that it can all be maintained moving forward.
I want to give a major thank-you to my community partner, Stephanie, and everyone who plays a role in Live Well Watertown for being extremely supportive of this project. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to the mission of supporting community health and wellness in Watertown. It’s been such an enjoyable process, and I’m excited to see how the outcome of this project impacts Live Well Watertown over time.
I’m counting down the days till the Watertown Farmers’ Market starts back up, and if you’re in the area, please come by! livewellwatertown.org/farmers-market
Entry 2: Connecting Programs & Technology
February 26th, 2018
I’m excited to share some updates! First, a quick reminder of what this project is all about: The overarching goal is to support community health and wellness in Watertown. Given that the Farmers’ Market brings together everyone in the Town, I set out to identify, analyze, and implement ways to enable the farmers’ market to become a symbol and foundation of community and wellness in Watertown.
One hurdle that we ran into is that the farmers’ market does not run year-round and loses attention in the offseason. Fortunately, the farmers’ market recently became part of Live Well Watertown, a community wellness initiative run by the Town that has programs and events throughout the year. You may be thinking, “So… problem solved?” but the issue is that, because the connection between the two happened recently, it is something many residents are not aware of yet. My community partner and I realized that if we could create awareness about the connection between the two, it would accomplish two goals: first, it would give year-round life to the farmers market and, second, it would attract more people to the other Live Well Watertown programs. The question then became: how?
I took a look at the online presence of Live Well Watertown and the farmers’ market and realized that two were very distinct, with separate websites, social media, mailing lists, calendars, and so on. It wouldn’t be obvious to anyone looking online that the farmers’ market and Live Well Watertown were connected. We realized that bridging the gap between the two online could impact the community’s awareness moving forward, so we decided to make that the focus of this project.
Thus far I have taken a first pass at redesigning, rebuilding, and combining the Live Well Watertown and Watertown Farmers’ Market websites to represent their connection. We realized that there was also a lot of potential to highlight the other Live Well Watertown programs, which has been implemented in the site as well.
The last few weeks of the project will be focused on connecting the remaining pieces of the online puzzle and documenting everything so that it can be maintained moving forward. The website will be sent to the Live Well Watertown Steering Committee soon to review it and give feedback, and I’m looking forward to making any changes based on their input.
You can check out the website here if you’re interested, and feel free to send any thoughts!
Entry 1: Exploring Community Wellness
January 12th, 2018
Here’s a quick riddle:
There is a place that anyone of any age can go to and find something they like. Sometimes the place moves or disappears entirely. In order to find it, you just need to know the right location and time to look. Some people bring things to the place, while others take things away. What is this place?
If your guess is the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter, you’re close! The answer is the farmers’ market, which is magical in its own way because of its ability to bring a diverse group of people together. This is especially true in the Town of Watertown, MA, where residents vary from families who have been around for multiple generations to university students who have only lived there for a year.
Currently, the Watertown Farmers’ Market serves as a place for locals to buy and sell produce and products. However, given that it brings together everyone in the Town, it has the unmet potential of truly strengthening the sense of community and being the symbol of Live Well Watertown, the Town’s wellness initiative. The goal of this project is to identify, analyze, and implement initiatives that will help the farmers’ market become a foundation of the Town and create a sense of community that extends beyond the farmers’ market itself.
As a Health Coach, I am passionate about helping others improve their nutrition and wellbeing. I believe that farmers’ markets are a great way for people to buy healthy, locally grown produce that is in-season and often much less expensive than the organic section of a grocery store. I have seen how attending farmers’ markets on a regular basis can have positive impacts on people’s health, in regards to both eating healthier and also feeling a sense of connection to their neighbors.
To kick off the project, I am diving into the challenges that the Watertown Farmers’ Market faces. Before trying to come up with solutions, I want to understand the root causes of the challenges and get a sense of the whole picture of both the farmers’ market and also Live Well Watertown. In addition to learning from the Watertown Community Wellness Program Manager, I will also be talking with and researching other local farmers markets and community wellness programs to learn about what has and has not worked for them.
I know that one challenge I will face in this approach is that every farmers’ market is different and has varying problems and goals. My plan is to group and categorize these various challenges and goals to discover patterns and shared characteristics. From there, my hope is that I will be able to find ways to use technology and new processes to form creative solutions.
I’m extremely excited about this project and getting to work more closely with my community partner to help the people in our town live healthy lives!
The residents of the Town of Watertown, MA, vary from families who have been around for multiple generations to grad school students who have only lived there for a year — but there is one place where this diverse community comes together: the Watertown Farmers’ Market! Given that it promotes healthy habits and brings together everyone in the Town, it has the potential to become the symbol of the Town’s wellness program, Live Well Watertown. Lisette will be working with the Community Wellness Program Manager to identify, analyze, and implement 1-2 initiatives that will help the farmers’ market reach its potential and create a ripple effect of wellbeing that extends beyond the farmers’ market itself.
Check back for her updates!