Volunteers gather during a recent Blue Zones Project Monterey County event in Salinas. The health initiative is expanding to King City and Gonzales with kickoff events planned in August. (Photo via BZPMC)

KING CITY — Blue Zones Project Monterey County will be launching two kickoff events in King City and Gonzales this month as part of its expansion into South Monterey County.

After a yearlong planning effort, Blue Zones Project Monterey County (BZPMC) is inviting the community to celebrate this expansion by attending the free events designed to inspire a healthy lifestyle. Each kickoff will have fun family-friendly activities, giveaways and prizes, in addition to local food and entertainment.

“The kickoff events in our Gonzales and King City expansion communities mark an exciting time for Blue Zones Project Monterey County,” said Tiffany DiTullio, executive director for BZPMC. “We are thrilled to be working in South Monterey County and have been impressed by the local desire to create healthier spaces within their communities.”

King City’s event will take place downtown on Broadway Street, from Second Street to Vanderhurst Avenue, on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 12 to 3 p.m. Gonzales’ event is planned for Sunday, Aug. 28, from 12 to 3 p.m., at Central Park.

Kickoff events provide opportunities for attendees to see the Blue Zones principles in action, allowing them to visualize the transformation they would like to see, and be a part of, in their community.

“The City’s top priority is to improve quality of life and nothing accomplishes that as well as helping people to feel good, be happy and live longer,” according to Steve Adams, city manager for King City. “Please get involved by attending the Blue Zones Project kickoff event.”

BZPMC was launched in Salinas in 2019 through an innovative sponsorship by Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS), Taylor Farms and Montage Health in partnership with Sharecare Inc. and Blue Zones LLC. The project has now selected King City and Gonzales as its next targeted locations.

“Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is honored to sponsor this transformative healthcare initiative,” said Pete Delgado, president/CEO of SVMHS. “We have seen the impact of this program in other areas of implementation, and we fully expect residents in South County to benefit as well, enjoying greater shifts toward optimal health.” 

Blue Zones Project is the outcome of a study of locations in the world with the highest life longevity, referred to as “Blue Zones.” The study identified common characteristics of the people living in those areas, including movement as part of their daily activities; healthy diets predominantly but not exclusively plant-based; active social activities and connections; and a sense of purpose in their lives.

Now, the initiative attempts to replicate those key factors in other communities to create new Blue Zones.

“The Blue Zones Project clearly aligns with Montage Health’s mission and our commitment to the community,” said Dr. Steven Packer, president/CEO of Montage Health. “We are thrilled to partner in this effort with Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Taylor Farms. We look forward to the expansion into South Monterey County.” 

Blue Zones Project representatives are working with city leaders, schools, businesses, restaurants and civic and faith-based organizations to help integrate these factors into the community. It does this by focusing on making changes to the built environment, tobacco policy and food policies.

Blue Zones Project “approved” locations achieve approval after meeting key criteria to help accomplish these goals.

“Taylor Farms is delighted to partner with Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Montage Health as we expand Blue Zones Project to South Monterey County,” said Bruce Taylor, chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms. “We are committed to helping create a healthier community for all.”

For more information or to get involved in BZPMC, call 831-241-0561 or visit montereycounty.bluezonesproject.com.

Previous articleLetter to the Editor | King City Must Consider Long-term Impacts of New Grocery Store
Next articleSalinas Valley Police Reports | Published Aug. 17, 2022
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here