City of Jefferson
Why they stand out
“We’re Going Outside”. With a new marketing brand in place, The city of Jefferson is working hard to encourage their community to get active by making exciting changes to the built environment. The city is looking to connect various paths into one comprehensive trail for biking, walking, and jogging that is as safe and removed from roads as possible. Further, Jefferson plans to reinvigorate the riverfront that stretches around downtown, including new kayak launch installations and branded “J stops” of interesting historical or commercial landmarks.
A key coalition partner of the city is Jefferson United for Motivating People for Wellness (JUMP), which exists to encourage people to move more. Volunteers from all different sectors promote and share information related to active living. The group sponsored a city garden plot, paid for a lifeguard for open swim twice per month, hosted a school wellness day to encourage water consumption, created maps for walking loops, and much more. The City and JUMP delineate roles when it comes to infrastructure. The City develops the infrastructure and JUMP encourages its use.
Jefferson understands the power of changing the built environment in coordination with health promotion efforts, an exciting model for other cities across Wisconsin!
Approach to Equity
The City of Jefferson strives to improve opportunities for active living for populations that face inequities because of socioeconomic status, race, immigration status, geography, or ability status. Residents of the predominantly rural farming and blue-collar community often work two jobs, so the community works to identify and support free or low-cost ways that people can build activity into daily routines. There is also a strong Latinx community. Jefferson addresses equity by providing free or reduced-cost programming and is currently discussing ways to break down language barriers. Over the years, they have also improved opportunities to be active for people with developmental disabilities. An organization called Saint Colleta of Wisconsin has long term care facilities for people with developmental disabilities. Before the late 90s, the differently-abled population was often institutionalized; Jefferson transitioned away from that model so this population could embrace more opportunities within the broader community. The City is intentionally adding the area surrounding Saint Colleta into a bicycle and pedestrian comprehensive plan. Further, the organization partners with the school district and the City to offer recreation and vocational services at their facilities. The City is committed to integrating more equitable practices and resources that will hopefully create more equitable outcomes in the community.
How to help
Photo Credit: Bike List