Healthy Communities

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension $2.5 million over five years to work with partners to improve the health of residents in Menominee County/Nation and Ashland County. 

The project will focus on increasing access to healthier foods and expanding access to safer locations for physical activity. This builds on Menominee County/Nation’s project, Kemāmaceqtaq: We’re All Moving, funded by the same CDC grant from 2018-2023.

The Ashland County Healthy Communities Coordinator works to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence-based policy, systems, and environmental change efforts to increase access to culturally responsive food and physical activity opportunities. The Healthy Communities Coordinator collaborates with community partners to implement local-level policies to connect pedestrian, bicycle, or transit networks and implement local nutrition policies. This position also works in partnership with Tribal leaders and community members to adapt the Harvest of the Moon program for Ojibwe communities.

Harvest of the Moon

Harvest of the Moon

The Harvest of the Moon was created to strengthen community connections to food. The original Harvest of the Moon began 3 years ago in the Menominee County/Nation, integrating Menominee language, the Menominee Moons, Menominee art, and Indigenous recipes.

You may be familiar with the Wisconsin Harvest of the Month, a statewide campaign that encourages kids and families to eat more fruits and vegetables. Each month schools showcase one seasonal, Wisconsin-grown fruit or vegetable. Students taste,  explore and learn about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

Funding for the Harvest of the Moon campaign comes from FoodWIse, federally funded and administered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). See the University of Wisconsin Madison’s FoodWIse website for more information.

CDC HOP Grant Strategies

The CDC’s High Obesity Program (HOP)‘s goal is to make healthy eating and active living more accessible and affordable. Here are some strategies the Healthy Communities Coordinator will be bringing to the Ashland County Community:

1. Food Service Guidelines

Healthy eating patterns help people live longer, strengthen their immune systems, and have fewer chronic diseases.

  • To increase access to healthy food and beverages, states and communities can promote food service and nutrition guidelines that can be used where food is sold, served, or distributed.
  • Work with community partners to promote food service and nutrition guidelines and healthy food purchasing. 
  • Support and expand existing fruit and vegetable voucher incentive and produce prescription programs. 
  • Full information for the food and nutrition strategy

2. Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Incentives and Produce Prescriptions

Eating enough fruits and vegetables each day is an important way for people to improve their health.

3. Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design

Being physically active is one of the most important ways people can improve their health now and into the future.

4. Early Care and Education (ECE) Policies and Activities

Most young children spend time in care outside of their home.


Marisa Dyer serves Ashland County as the Healthy Communities Coordinator. To learn more about Health and Wellbeing programming and the role of Extension in Ashland County, send an email to or call the Ashland County office at 715-682-7017.

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