Article and Pictures submitted by Janelle Wiebelhaus-Finger, Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project Dodge County.
Dodge County Blue Zones Project Launches First Walking Moais
Despite the chilly April temperatures, more than 80 people came out to meet their neighbors at the first Blue Zones Project Dodge County Walking Moai launch. Moai, a term from Okinawa, Japan, means “meeting for a common purpose.” Blue Zones Project Walking Moais are groups of 5-8 people that meet regularly to walk together. The small group size allows members to focus on building strong friendships, creating social connections that are vital to well-being, while also encouraging members to add more natural movement, like walking, to their day.
Community members had the opportunity to meet at one of three locations in Dodge County, the Horicon Marsh Education Center, Swan City Park in Beaver Dam, or Wild Goose Park in Juneau at 9 a.m. on April 29. Volunteers and team members of Blue Zones Project Dodge County led the large group in an activity to help participants get to know one another before dividing the large group into smaller groups which then became their new Moai. Participants then exchanged contact information and committed to meeting at least once a week for 10 weeks before taking their first walk as a new Moai. Everyone who attended received a free Blue Zones Project water bottle. A celebration event will be held after 10 weeks to celebrate the new friendships formed and a successful first step toward improved well-being and longevity. To learn more about future Moai launches and other events and activities with Blue Zones Project Dodge County visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.