Our Story

The Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance started as eight coalition coordinators, health planners, and bike/ped advocates from across the state of Wisconsin who knew there was a better way to work together and communicate.  We knew it was just too hard for people to walk and bike from "point A to point B" in our neighborhoods.  We also knew there were a lot of great things going on in the state that were trying to make it easier for people to be more active.  So we got together, formed the Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance, went through a year-long training with the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute... and here we are!


Make it known you're on the same path by joining the Alliance!


Our Vision

WACA envisions a Wisconsin where all communities, especially those
experiencing inequities, are outstanding places to walk, bike and be active.
WACA will be a catalyst in a successful statewide Active Communities
movement that helps create change in communities across Wisconsin.


Our Goals

  • Work together across the state on a few key strategies that will help make Wisconsin communities active communities. 
  • Encourage local groups to work together so health, transportation, planning, zoning, economic development, parks and recreation, schools, and others share a common mission. 
  • Facilitate relationship building between communities in order to learn from each other and not "reinvent the wheel"
  • Provide a common framework and tools to guide communities in their active community efforts. 

Our Members

Portage County is home to the Green Circle Trail, the Tomorrow River Trail and the Ice Age Trail. Events like Walk Wisconsin - a 26 mile non-competive walk, and Tour De Boys and Girls Club Bike a Thon - a family bike riding event, are held annually. The Portage County Parks Department offer a variety of activities from hiking trails, to cross-county skiing and disc golf. Portage County is currently in the process of passing a county-wide bicycle and pedestrian plan. 

GARY GARSKE, Portage Health & Human Services

The Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative worked with community partners in Marshall, Wisconsin enhancing the physical activity environment in their village. They developed a natural playground in the heart of an unused industrial park. Recreation trails were created to link the park to area bike routes. The park is now a thriving community hub.

JULIA STANLEY, Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative


Live54218 is committed to addressing barriers that inhibit access to safe, enjoyable places to be physically active. Our communities have seen success by growing strong coalitions, participating in bike and pedestrian Master Plans, and growing an extensive countywide park & trail systems.


Jack recently spearheaded a Complete Streets effort at the La Crosse County Health Department. Under his guidance La Crosse County became the first county in Wisconsin to have 5 Complete Streets policies and one Green Complete Streets Ordinance in the City of La Crosse.

JACK ZABROWSKI, Transportation Consultant

The Wausau metro area has created a 105-mile bicycle route system accompanied by over 600 custom bicycle route signs that are color-coded and numbered by route. A unique feature is The Central Loop, which is a 26-mile circular route that highlights the area's best bicycle facilities.

AARON RUFF, Marathon County Health Department

re:TH!NK, Winnebago's Healthy Living Partnership, focuses on coordinating community-led efforts that impact policies, systems and the environment in order to make it easier for Winnebago County residents to make healthy choices and ultimately reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. Emily's passion is in creating active communities where there’s more access for everyone to bike and walk.

EMILY DIERINGER, Winnebago County Health Department

Located in rural Central Wisconsin, Wood County is home to 74,424 residents across 4 cities, 8 villages, and 22 towns including our county seat of Wisconsin Rapids. In addition to our 3 healthcare systems, largest cranberry assets in the nation, and strong paper industry - we're home to many recreational assets like the Wisconsin River.  Our coalition seeks to increase access to healthy food, physical activity opportunities, and make Wood County a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play. 

KRISTIE RAUTER, Wood County Health Department

Based in Milwaukee, Keith has spent most of the last decade advocating, encouraging, healthier lifestyles in the communities of color mainly using bicycling as the tool for change. Keith worked for more than five years for the Active Transportation Alliance developing and maintaining relationships with the African-American communities throughout Chicagoland. Keith moved to Milwaukee in 2007 where he continues with the formation of Milwaukee Bicycle Works. He also serves as chairman of Milwaukee Bike Ped Task Force.

KEITH HOLT, Wisconsin Bike Federation