Active Community Environments (ACEs) Initiatives

Active Community Environments

The term Active Community Environments can be applied to a number of initiatives that increase access to recreational facilities and allow for alternative modes of transportation.  An example of an access issue would be joint use agreements to allow for facility use by many parties. Examples of providing for alternative modes of transportation include construction of bike trails or sidewalks, or setting up a Safe Routes to School program. In any case, active environments could mean many things, and identifying key partners early on will increase the chances of success.

Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance - The Alliance is a group of local coordinators, planners and advocates working to create active communities. Its website contains a simple framework to assist public health planners on their journey to build a more active community and provides fact sheets and other materials for key strategies.

Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance Success Stories - A series of seven success stories on how local communities implemented active community initiatives.


State Plan Cover



See what's in the 2013-2018 Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity State Plan for Active Communities.



Active Community Environments Kit

Listed below are information and references to address physical activity in the community setting.

Active Community Environments Cover



 All aspects of an active community intervention are incorporated within the Active Community Environments (ACEs) Resource Kit (PDF, 2.0 MB).  Listed below are specific chapters and resources from the kit. 

Select the ACEs "Quick Start" Guide (PDF, 118 KB) to the right if you want a quick snapshot of what's in the kit and how you might use it in your community.

ACEs Quick Start Guide

Toolkit – Table of Contents

Introduction: Why have an ACEs initiative? (PDF, 270 KB)

Step 1: How to get started (PDF, 164 KB)

Step 2: Assessing your community (PDF, 159 KB)

Step 3: Strategies for an active community (PDF, 749 KB)

Step 4: Making decisions: Where to focus your efforts (PDF, 169 KB)

Step 5: Evaluating your program  (PDF, 153 KB)


A: Asset Mapping (PDF, 72 KB)

B: Partners (PDF, 25 KB)

C. Assessment Checklist (PDF, 101 KB)

D: Sample Survey Questions (PDF, 40 KB)

E: High-Level Strategy Grid (PDF, 26 KB)

F: Detailed Strategy List (PDF, 37 KB)

G: Action Plan Worksheet (PDF, 33 KB)

H: Walk/Bike Audit Tool (PDF, 190 KB)

I:  Data Indicators and Sources (PDF, 40 KB)


Walk/Bike Audit Tool

Wisconsin Active Community Audit Tool (PDF, 416 KB) - The benefits of walking and bicycling include improved health, cleaner air and more social interaction in the community. Walking and bicycling audits can help identify key intersections or areas where physical and environmental changes could make a big difference in improving opportunities to be more physically active. This tool can guide you on what to look for in selecting and evaluating site(s).

Other Materials

Green Bay Statewide Training

To view the videotape from the December 6, 2012 training in Green Bay, select from the information below:

Morning Sessions (tape start time)

  • Introduction - Mary Pesik (0:00)
  • Welcome - Mayor Jim Schmitt (9:40)
  • Community Speed Sharing - Jordan Bingham (27:40)
  • Overview of Active Communities - Mark Fenton (36:00)

Afternoon Sessions (tape start time)

  • ACEs Resource Kit & Strategies - Jon Morgan (0:00)
  • Team Time #1 Discussion on Asset Mapping - Mark Fenton (29:15)
  • Local Leaders Presentations - Various (57:30)
  • Walk Audit - (1:40:00)
  • Team Time #2 - Action Plans (2:01:15)
Last Revised: December 29, 2014