High River’s Vital Signs Report Indicates Improvements in Livability, Health and Wellbeing

HIGH RIVER, AB: The Town is excited to announce that the 2018 High River Vital Signs® report is now available and it indicates strong improvements in the quality of life in High River, based on feedback collected from community members.

“We are pleased to present the second Vital Signs® report for High River and we couldn’t have done it without all the amazing support from our citizens,” says Kalie Mosig, research and content lead for the project. “Between May 10 and July 5, we launched the second Vital Signs® survey as an opportunity for residents to have a voice and to provide feedback on aspects of the community that need improvement or attention. It was also an opportunity to celebrate all the things that are positively contributing to life in High River.”

The report features highlights from responses to a community-wide survey open during the spring of 2018.  In total, 585 participants completed the survey and were asked to grade quality of life indicators throughout the community. This information was combined with data from service providers, organizations and local experts to create a broad snapshot of the community. The average grade respondents gave was a B.

“We are seeing progress being made, and while our overall grade remains the same as the last report, there are strong indications of improvement in the areas of livability and health and wellbeing where our grades went up,” adds Mosig. “This is a great start and we look forward to tracking High River’s progress in future years.”

Some of the highlights include:

Connection: There was an increase in participation in community events and activities, participants indicated that they’d like more opportunities to get involved, be heard and have input.

Environment: The celebration and appreciation of the town’s natural spaces has been a strong theme in both Vital Signs® reports, participants are happy with the opportunities to enjoy the natural environment.

Expression: Participants appreciate the availability of events that showcase arts and culture and express a desire for more diversity, more venues and more advertising of cultural events.

Health and Wellbeing: The community is appreciative of access to a local hospital as well as easy access to walking paths (Happy Trails), there was also 615 counselling sessions completed at the new Foothills Community Counselling program from Jan. – Sept. 2018.

Lifelong Learning: There is recognition and appreciation for the support agencies and learning opportunities in High River and respondents indicated that an increase in opportunities for different ages and accessibility areas is desired.

Livability: The high quality of work-life balance available in High River was recognized in the report and the community expressed a desire for more local transportation and employment opportunities.

Safety and Security: One of the priorities from the 2016 report was to develop more community partnerships with first responders. The 2018 report shows first responders received an overall grade of B+ and were graded B or better by 84 per cent of respondents for their hard work, community involvement, and response times.

Thriving Populations: Part of what makes High River ‘rooted in people’ is recognizing that special quality this community has that helps everyone thrive. Respondents indicated a desire to embrace and support the diversity of High River and increase the number of community events to bring people together.

“This report is an important tool for the Town, social profit groups, and local community organizations,” says Mosig. “The last report contributed to some major new projects and services for the community and the Town also uses the grades as a guideline to inform Council strategic planning.”

Vital Signs® is a community checkup conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our communities and identifies significant trends in a range of areas critical to quality of life.

High River’s Vital Signs® was a collaborative process between Our High River and the Town of High River’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). Support was also provided by The Calgary Foundation and NRG Research Group.

Community members are welcome to attend the Nov. 14 Community Café from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Culture Centre for a detailed review and official launch of the report. The complete report can be viewed online athighriver.ca/vital-signs.