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City of Jefferson
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Why Jefferson Stands 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.

Strategy Action Snapshot

Local Action Strategies

Currently in Place:

  • Place physical walking/biking route maps in the community

  • Adding in Upcoming Year:

  • Regular weekly or monthly community building rides or walks

  • Bicycle benefits program with local retailers (e.g., bike bingo)

  • Other, please specify: J Stops

Community Engagement Strategies

Currently in Place:

  • Create supporter email lists

  • Local Bike Walk Civics Course

  • Community walk audit 


  • Pop up art at local ‘activity hubs’ like main streets, schools, bus stops, senior centers, etc.

  • Walking meetings with municipal leaders/legislators or office hours on the bus

Community Impact


Currently in Place:

  • Establish a Bike/Ped Committee or Safe Routes to School Task Force

  • Adopt a Bike/Ped Plan

  • Create a Safe Routes to School Plan

  • Attend a statewide conference/summit on active transportation

  • Establish consistent Wayfinding Signage

  • Connect trails across city or county lines in bicycle and pedestrian plans



  • Adopt a health equity resolution

  • Local Complete Streets policy

  • Local Safe Routes to School policy/funding

How to Help

Where they would like support or resources

  • ​One of the biggest challenges for JUMP is the recruitment and maintaining their volunteer efforts. Additionally, funding sources to support their work can be a challenge. 

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