Active and Healthy Communities in Windham County

bike path

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 condiitons 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 Brattleboro 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

Healthy Foods

We work with community organizations such as Food Connects to strengthen our local food network and farm to school programs in Windham County.

We support the Hunger Council of Windham County and are involved in the Out of School Time Subcommittee that works to increase food access and participation in meals offered during school vacations.

The Vermont Healthy Community Design Resource: Active Living and Healthy Eating  guide contains information, tools and resources that may be used to navigate the worlds of land use planning and public health.

Safe Routes to School

We work directly with schools to promote Safe Routes to School, a program that helps kids safely walk and bike to school.

Brattleboro Coalition for Active Transportation

We support the Brattleboro Coalition for Active Transportation, a group of local residents who work to improve walking and biking in Brattleboro. The Safe Streets Committee in Brattleboro meets six times a year and works with the Town of Brattleboro and the Traffic Safety Committee.

PHysical Activity

We lead the Fit and Healthy Kids Coalition of Windham County, which works to foster practices, programs, and policies that engage the community in raising fit and healthy kids. This coalition meets monthly.

Our staff serve on the Windham Regional Commission Transportation Committee, which serves to review and evaluate transportation policy recommendations to support the development of safe and efficient transportation in Windham County. We collaborated with the Windham Regional Commission to develop trail resource guides for both walking and snowshoeing. The Windham on the Move program received funding to provide snowshoes to many area libraries to increase access to outdoor winter activity for local community members.

We collaborate with RiseVT to amplify opportunities for families and youth to participate in physical activities. 

Planning for Prevention Primer

Our staff works alongside a number of Windham County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions and the Windham Regional Commission, and together they created the Planning for Prevention Primer. The primer serves as a reference document for towns as they revise and rewrite their town plans, and provides particular guidance and information on how to incorporate language around substance abuse prevention and the principles and practices of healthy community design. 

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