DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Seven counties across Colorado were named among the healthiest communities in the country Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report. Douglas County took the top spot on the the list.

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“Makes a lot of sense to me, I’m outdoors every single day,” said A.J. Carda, a Douglas County resident. I work outside, I know a lot of people that work outside, work with animals and it’s just a really great state to be outside.”

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Carda was at the dog park located on the Glendale Farm Open Space and Trail on Tuesday when he found out about the distinction the county just received. People were enjoying the weather at the park, along trails, even climbing nearby hills.

The other counties making the Top 20 on the list in Colorado include Summit, Boulder, and Chaffee Counties.

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There were 10 categories the magazine considered including health, transportation, education, housing, and public safety. Douglas County scored high in multiple factors including median household income and physical activity among the nearly 3,000 communities considered in the ranking.

The magazine compiled the list in partnership with the Aetna Foundation.

“The fact that it’s always pretty, the fact that it’s always beautiful, even when it’s snowing and raining,” said Carda.

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Douglas County highlighted the many ways people enjoy the outdoors including hiking, riding a bike, and horseback riding, in a release from staff.

Open Space leaders for the county also want to bring attention to the work they’re putting into a master plan for the Sandstone Ranch. It is more than 2,000 acres of land recently acquired by Douglas County. It will be managed by staff to preserve the land but also make the grounds open to the public.

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Your zip code has a greater impact on your life expectancy than your genetic code, according to research cited by the magazine. Douglas County made it to the second overall spot in the first year of the list, moving up to the number one slot in 2019.

“Anytime of year, you’re having a great time,” Carda said. “It’s a beautiful place and I’m so happy I live here.”

LINK: U.S. News & World Report Healthiest Communities Report

Shawn Chitnis

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