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For the second year in a row, the City of Waverly received a prestigious award recognizing its efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Waverly, along with Cass County and the City of Waterloo, was named a winner of the 2021 Healthy Hometown (SM) powered by Wellmark Community Award. It was one of 10 categories announced as part of the 2021 Healthiest State Annual Awards, presented virtually Feb. 15-18.

“We are pleased to present Waverly with the 2021 Healthy Hometown (SM) Powered by Wellmark Community Award,” said Laura Jackson, Wellmark chief health officer. “As a multi-year award winner, all the cumulative work that has been done within the community is to be celebrated. And because this work is so important, the city will also receive $5,000 to continue the important work of improving the physical, social and emotional well-being of the community.”

Some noteworthy achievements in Waverly include:

• Improved the Cedar River Parkway corridor, including reconstruction of the Cedar River Bridge to include a hiking and biking trail

• Completed the Bremer Avenue streetscape project with new bike racks and improved signage

• Enhanced Prairie Park with a shelter house and basketball and pickleball courts

• Added six raised community-sharing garden beds

“The Waverly Area Partnership for Healthy Living (WAPHL) Committee strives to continually enhance the health and well-being of not only Waverly, but all of Bremer County,” said Garret Riordan, City of Waverly Leisure Services Director and member of WAPHL Committee. “We are honored to once again be considered one of Iowa’s healthiest communities. Receiving the Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark award last year helped promote our vision to encourage the citizens of Waverly and the surrounding areas to make healthy choices and enjoy the active lifestyle our community offers. We look forward to continuing our vision with the Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark partnership.”

The winners were recognized for their efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of their students, employees and fellow Iowans.

“Even though we were not able to have an in-person ceremony this year, these finalists and winners still deserved to be recognized by the Healthiest State Initiative as well as their fellow Iowans,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State Initiative executive director, in a release sent Friday. “We look forward to seeing how they use their award funds to further their already impressive efforts. Congratulations!”

The Healthiest State Annual Awards were sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Nemours and HealthPartners UnityPoint Health. To see more from the 2021 Healthiest State Annual Virtual Awards and to re-watch the ceremonies, visit

The winners in the other categories include:

Early Care: Handy’s Home Daycare and Preschool, of Norwalk (small), and Des Moines Area Community College Child Development Center, of Ankeny (large)

K-12 schools: Riceville Elementary

Out-of-school program: LINK Grinnell

Individual: Natalie Lancial, of Malvern

Workplace: FAMILY Inc., of Council Bluffs (small), Delta Dental of Iowa, of Johnston (medium), and Hy-Vee Inc., of West Des Moines (large)

Health Care: MercyOne Family Medicine Forest Park, of Mason City, and Primary Health Care at Mercy Family Practice Residency Program, of Des Moines.

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