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Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity: Active Community Initiatives

The term "Active Community" can be applied to a number of initiatives that increase access to recreational opportunities and facilities and allow for alternative modes of transportation, such as biking or walking. However, not all Wisconsinites have the same opportunities to access and benefit from physical activity in safe environments. Shifts in policy, systems, and the environment are necessary to support opportunities for physical activity and address differences in these types of opportunities by people and places.

Examples of Active Community initiatives can be found in the Wisconsin Physical Activity and Nutrition Road Map, and include efforts, such as Safe Routes to School programs, Complete Streets policies, and joint or shared-use agreements allowing groups to share indoor and outdoor spaces for physical activity (e.g., gymnasiums, athletic fields, or playgrounds).

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

Active Community Toolkit

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

The many aspects of an active community initiative are incorporated within the Active Community (AC) Toolkit P-00036. (PDF)

This PDF version of the toolkit has live hyperlinks and navigation to allow you to move between sections and access the many external resource links.

An alternative print-friendly version, Active Community Toolkit, P-00036-print (PDF), has also been provided.

Active Wisconsin Community Strategies and Resource Guide

Move Your Way

Walkable Communities Media Advocacy Toolkit


Use the Walkable Communities Media Advocacy Toolkit, P-01282 (PDF) to guide your work with media in the promotion of Walkable Communities in Wisconsin.

The kit contains a sample news release, letter to the editor, media alert and talent release that you can modify to fit your community.

Walk Bike Audit Tool

Wisconsin Active Community Audit Tool, P-00399 (PDF) - 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).

Safe Routes to School Resources

Small Town and Rural Active Community Strategies

Promoting Active Living in Rural Communities (PDF) – This brief summarizes current research on elements of the rural built environment that may be related to obesity or physical activity. The research can be used in planning rural activities.

Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks (PDF) - This document is intended to be a resource for transportation practitioners in small towns and rural communities. It applies existing national design guidelines in a rural setting and highlights small town and rural case studies.


Tips and tools on how to create a good environment for physical activity, particularly walking and biking.

Last revised July 8, 2022