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.   

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.  

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 http://www.umt.edu/sell/cps/baci/imx/MT_PAaccess-Article.pdf - by Cathy Costakis, Senior Consultant, Built Environment

For questions or more information on Montana’s Building Active Communities Initiative, contact:  Michelle Eckert at michelle.eckert@umontana.edu.