The Policies for Livable, Active, Communities, and Environments (P.L.A.C.E.) Initiative was a grant-funded program through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Initiated in July 2008, the program was a 3-year $1.65 million grant dedicated to fostering policy change that supported the development of healthy, active environments for Los Angeles County residents. The City of El Monte was one of 5 recipients within the Los Angeles County that pursued policy change and related physical projects that decreased barriers in the built environment which improved opportunities for nutrition and physical activity.
The lead agency for the City of El Monte P.L.A.C.E Initiative was the Community and Senior Services Division, who worked closely with the Community Development Department (Planning and Engineering), the Police Department, and the City Manager's Office throughout the grant cycle to successfully implement the Initiative. The City also collaborated with the California Community Foundation, AltaMed Health Services, the El Monte City School District, and Amigos de los Rios.
The City of El Monte developed a Health and Wellness Element for the El Monte General Plan, with proposed components addressing healthy lifestyles and physical activity, access to healthy food, public safety and security, and access to recreation. The physical project component of the P.L.A.C.E Initiative was a 1-mile circuit walking path with mileage markers and signage connecting various civic, educational, retail and health care facilities in the area. Another valuable outcome of this program was the establishment of a walking club that had over 350 residents actively enrolled. The Community and Senior Services Division, in collaboration with other city departments and community partners, continues to offer physical activity opportunities and health education through special events throughout the year.