DUBUQUE, Iowa - Maybe you noticed blue doors popping up outside some businesses in Dubuque. It's an effort to gain support for the Blue Zones Project.
Blue Zones are part of Governor Branstad's effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016. Any city designated a Blue Zone will be eligible for funding and expert consultation to create a healthier community.
Last spring, Cedar Falls and Waterloo received blue zone designations. Now Dubuque is vying for one too.
Despite it being the coldest night of the season, the after work crowd packs Signature Fitness.
Fitness Instructor Traci Cooley said, "we're expanding so were opening another room just to have classes in."
Employees say that's a sign being healthy is becoming more important to people in Dubuque.
Still, plenty of people don't subscribe to that theory.
Enter the blue door.
Dubuque Blue Zone Administrator Michelle Malone said, "We need people to pledge. That is the most important thing we could do for the city right now because the support we have from the community is a determining factor if we are chosen or not. "
Volunteers placed freshly painted blue doors outside more than a half dozen local businesses. It's an attention grabber, and a request to make the blue zone
Malone said, "in essence you are saying I want to make myself healthier. "
Organizers say if selected as a blue zone community they'd hope to make improvements to the city's trail system.
Malone said, " The trails all need to be connected so we can go wherever we want to in Dubuque easily. "