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June 14, 2017 1:17 PMCategory: Health Equity

Active Living Wayfinding: Increasing Community Health in Montana

This post was originally published on the Lewis and Clark County, Montana website

The Healthy Communities Coalition, coordinated by Lewis and Clark Public Health, applied for and received a Plan4Health grant in 2014. The purpose of the grant is to develop an “Active Living Wayfinding System” for parks and along urban trails in the Helena area to increase participation in physical activity and improve access to nutritious food programs.

The grant is part of a unique partnership between the American Planning Association and the American Public Health Association.

Plan4Health is a multi-year project designed to strengthen the connection between the planning and public health professions. It recognizes the impact that the “built environment” has on all aspects of health and leverages the complementary expertise of planners and public health professionals to find innovative tactics to address tough problems.

With the support of the grant, dozens of Helena-area residents from many disciplines have been involved in designing a wayfinding system that not only connects people with healthy activity and food, but also meets the needs of people with disabilities, such as people who use a wheelchair or who have low vision. More than a thousand members of the public provided feedback during the development process.

The group hopes that the system, which includes accessible signage, will be adopted community-wide. For more information, contact Karen Lane, Chronic Disease Prevention Programs Manager, 406-457-8960.

Artist's rendition of sign design

Learn more about the Active Living Wayfinding System in this 20-minute interview between Healthy Community Coalition members Karen Lane and Laura Erikson and Brian LaMoure, host of Community Pulse on Helena Civic Television (HCTV). The interview was recorded June 5, 2017, at the HCTV studio.

For more about the coalition’s initial activities, check out this blog post.


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