The Bronx is known as a hub of ill health. Its people have a high incidence of diabetes. Its hospitals report large numbers of asthma cases. The rate of gonorrhea infection here is twice the national average. Bad numbers abound.
But there are other numbers to think about, too. The share of kids with elevated lead levels is half as high in the Bronx as it is in the rest of New York State. The mortality rate for breast cancer is lower than the national average, and the rate of death of suicide is significantly lower in the Bronx than in the U.S. or statewide.
Plus, 25 percent of the Bronx is parkland.
The point is, the Bronx has the ability to avoid some health problems and the resources to reduce others. Such is the focus of a health march planned for tomorrow, October 18, from noon on and sponsored by the Mary Mitchell Center on Mapes Avenue in Crotona–a community facility that, through an initiative distributing healthy produce and a renowned martial arts program, has long been a healthy oasis in the neighborhood.
The march, organized by youth activists at the center, will start at 2007 Mapes Avenue and head to Crotona Park. One of the items on the agenda, according to the Center, is a youth goal to “improve the two parks in our neighborhood–Crotona Park and the Astin Jacobo Baseball Field–to ensure more places to play and exercise.”
What would make your Bronx park a better place to exercise? Comment below. Or drop and give me 20.