Active and Healthy Communities in East Central Vermont

kids on scooters crossing road

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 White River Junction 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 a 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 foods 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

Building Health into Woodstock's Town Plan

Our staff helped the town of Woodstock to draft a Health Section of their town plan that included language about healthy community design and Health Impact Assessments. We also worked to support inclusion of that language in the transportation and development sections of the plan, where the requirements of health-promoting activities also need to be considered.

Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

We chaired the Health and Society subcommittee for the East Central Vermont Sustainability Consortium, which developed a comprehensive community strategy called "What We Want" for our region to be sustainable in the future. This plan included language on using local policy and organization to promote health by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

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