Building Active Communities Initiative

The Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity (NAPA) Program’s Building Active Communities Initiative (BACI) is a project of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services in cooperation with Montana State University’s Office of Rural Health. With in-depth, interactive training, mentoring and ongoing technical assistance, NAPA’s Building Active Communities Initiative supports community-led approaches to develop active and healthy communities.  

We have some exciting news!
The MT DPHHS Nutrition & Physical Activity Program will be hosting a 3 day Building Active Communities Initiative (BACI) Action Institute in Livingston, Montana.  Mark Fenton, a nationally recognized public health, planning, and transportation consultant, will keynote and facilitate this training.  In addition, state and local speakers will also address topics including walkability/bikeability, healthy community design, local foods, recreational trails, placemaking, accessibility and more. The workshop will be held May 8-10, 2018 and is open to communities across the state, with populations of 20,000 and below (2010 Census), who submit an application and are approved.  CLICK HERE for the printable Save-the-Date.

Who might be interested in this opportunity?
Elected officials, planners, public works professionals, public health or healthcare professionals, downtown business associations or Main Street programs, senior and/or disability advocates, schools or youth groups, community foundations, or other non-profits.

Who is encouraged to apply for this sponsored training? (Travel, hotel, per diem and materials included.)
All Montana cities with a population of 20,000 or below (2010 Census) are eligible to apply, but priority may be given to communities who have never before attended a BACI Action Institute. We encourage applications from communities with a commitment to planning and community health. That commitment could be demonstrated through the adoption of, or the commitment to adopt, an appropriate planning document that supports the community’s vision and overarching goals. Examples of such planning documents include: e.g., growth policy, community health improvement plan, downtown master plan, transportation plan, economic development plan, Safe Routes to School plan. 

BACI's Overarching Goal:
The overarching goal of the Action Institute is to provide communities the tools and technical assistance they need to develop policies, plans, and projects that support more safe, connected and walkable communities.  Want to learn more before applying? Couldn't make it to the recommended January 9th webinar & discussion?   CLICK HERE to learn more.

The application deadline to apply for the 2018 BACI was February 9, 2018. Thank you to teams that applied, your applications are currently in the review process. Notifications of approval will be emailed to applicants by Monday, February 26, 2018.   

Why we need safe, connected and walkable communities.
The need for more safe, connected and walkable Montana communities is pressing. Local governments, businesses and families are faced with a crisis of rising healthcare costs driven by ever increasing sedentary lifestyles and preventable chronic diseases. Poor access to safe active transportation and recreation opportunities is putting America’s youngest generation at risk for living shorter and less healthy lifespans than their parents’ generation. At the same time, demand is on the rise for safer and more accessible communities to better serve people with disabilities and the growing number of seniors. Finally, local leaders are recognizing the economic benefits of safe, accessible and walkable communities, including the opportunity to attract new businesses, tourism and a stable, well-paid workforce.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion BACI Success Story - Montana Cities and Counties Working to Build Health into Community Design - by Cathy Costakis, Senior Consultant, Built Environment

For questions or more information on Montana’s Building Active Communities Initiative, contact: Cathy Costakis, Senior Consultant - Built Environment, NAPA, at or (406) 994-5734.