Community Stories:

Celebrate Success: Provost, Alberta

The Alberta Healthy Communities Initiative (AHCI) involved 19 rural communities partnering with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Cancer Prevention and Screening Innovation (CPSI) to learn and engage in the Alberta Healthy Communities Approach (AHCA). The initiative was based on the principle that, when working together, communities can determine their own solutions to create supportive environments that foster healthy choices. 

In Provost, three separate organizations originally applied for the AHCI. Following facilitated discussions, all members recognized the benefits of working together. Subsequently, under the umbrella of Community Lifestyle and You (CLAY), an existing network of like-minded organizations, the team found structure and alignment with their vision statement: An engaged, healthy community. Their shared goals included creating and promoting healthy opportunities, to encourage community engagement and to provide inclusive programming.

The Plan

“And one of the things with Provost is we have a lot of great people that step up and do things. And so, by having this [AHCI], we could support those initiatives of those people that drove this project, different people took different parts at different times. Under really one vision of making the space enjoyable for all ages.”

- Community Lifestyle and You members

Members of CLAY already held extensive knowledge of their community; however, valuable time was spent in exploring the current context. Completing pre and post assessments allowed the team to dig deeper and gain a greater understanding of Provost and areas strengths, needs, and opportunities.

One of the first goals of the enhanced CLAY network was to decrease the consumption of sugary beverages by offering water bottle filling stations in their recreation facility. These stations provide free access to fresh, cold water for all community members, while simultaneously being environmentally friendly.

The Outcomes

When the COVID pandemic struck, a significant need for safe, accessible outdoor spaces became a priority. To inform this endeavor, two community consultation sessions were held online to gather perspectives and input. Promotional tents displaying the CLAY logo were purchased to provide sun protection at outdoor events. In response to a trail system audit and walkability assessment, the Town of Provost trails were paved and extended to complete a total of 4.2 kms! Finally, the network made sure to include fixed shade structures along the path to offer a break from the sun. These covered spaces became a spot to gather and connect with one another in the outdoors.

We all came together and decided that we wanted to see this walking trail being developed. Let's see how great we can make it and what this looks like.

Provost’s Community Lifestyle and You continues to work collaboratively, seeking opportunities to enhance the health of their community. Over the course of the initiative, the team successfully leveraged existing multi-sectoral connections to focus on enhancing physical activity, nutrition, and UVR prevention. This network had been working together for 10 years prior to taking part on the AHCI and plan to continue support community action after deepening their relationships and strengthening the way in which they work together.

“It's just going to continue to grow and expand, which is amazing. And you know definitely, as CLAY we want to support that. We'll just see how much it adds to the community for everybody.”