Active and Healthy Communities in Central Vermont

two children biking in woods

When the place where we live makes it easy for everyone to exercise and eat well, fewer people will suffer from injury, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart and lung disease. Our goal is to help shape our communities to support health and well-being. To do this we:

  • promote safe, pleasant and accessible places for all people to walk, roll or bicycle
  • promote use of public transit
  • ensure access to healthy and affordable food
  • ensure safe, quality housing

We work with community organizations, municipal and regional planners, schools and health care providers. We begin with conversations to learn what is important to our community. From there, we find ways to weave in health and wellness improvements that fit the priorities of our towns, such as economic development. All Vermonters will thrive when our living conditions help to eliminate differences in health for different groups of people.

Use the Public Health Data Explorer to learn about health and wellness where you live.

    How We Can Help

    There are many ways that the Barre office can help shape a healthier community. We can:

    • share examples of language that promotes health with cities and towns in order to strengthen regional plans.
    • provide Safe Routes to Schools Regional Expert to provide support to schools.
    • provide public health data and information to inform planning.
    • provide education about why sidewalks and healthy food options in local markets are important.
    • connect you with useful resources and provide examples of similar work done in other communities to help you on your way.
    • look for funds to help town officials and organizations support health-promoting efforts
    Local Highlights

    Montpelier in Motion

    We participated in the process of creating the Montpelier in Motion Master Plan.  The plan establishes recommendations for improvements to our bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. 


    Harwood Track in the Woods

    An innovative community project to create a running track built right into the woods!  Follow their Facebook page to watch progress  on their community-driven vision for creating a destination track.

    3-4-50 Prevent Chronic Disease

    What does 3-4-50 mean?

    3 behaviors – lack of physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use – lead to 4 chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease – that are the cause of more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont.

    This understanding inspires us to take action. Communities that are built to support physical activity, safe walking and biking, use of public transportation, and easy access to fresh foods are essential for good health.

    See how Vermont Cities & Towns support health

    3-4-50