In Jefferson County, our historic downtowns proudly represent the heart and soul of each city and village.


This descriptive insert has been designed to share and present assets of Jefferson County and its communities as well as to highlight several high-impact, emerging opportunities for this area. This effort represents an educational and communication vehicle for informing both Jefferson County residents as well as visitors about the qualities, characteristics and features that make Jefferson County unique. It also serves as a means for marketing Jefferson County to those looking at this area as a destination for their activities, whether they are for recreation, tourism or business.

In articulating what quality of life in Jefferson County means, this information is organized around the central value of balancing a strong economy and a preserved environment with social equity for the people. It intends to capture that special “sense of place” and identity so uniquely evident in Jefferson County. It also summarizes some of the innovative initiatives aimed at creating an enhanced sense of place. You will also see the on-going efforts of an engaged citizenry working hard to establish an even better place for the future.

Highlights of Special Places in Jefferson County

Community and Countryside: Regarding community form and function, you will see clear distinctions between the many community areas and the countryside in Jefferson County. Jefferson County is leading the way in preserving working farms and productive agriculture. Jefferson County communities are guiding growth with carefully developed plans which direct growth to “urban service areas.” The villages and cities understand concepts of compact community form, and the importance of retaining distinctive, established neighborhood areas. A mix of places to live, work and play results in communities that blend old-fashioned living with 21st century technology and convenience.

Our Linkages: Jefferson County and its communities are well-connected to our metropolitan neighbors on either side of the County, and there is an ease of movement within and throughout the County. While contemporary communities, such as those in Jefferson County, continue to accommodate automobile travel, they are increasingly recognizing and respecting the importance of bicycle and pedestrian paths and linkages to enhance community life.

Natural Resources and Parks: Jefferson County recognizes that natural resources and parks must be preserved and conscientiously integrated into the fabric of the community. As you will seen in this brochure, parks, trails and walkway corridors are becoming a primary organizing element to help create livability, shape development and promote a healthy future. Jefferson County’s relationship between community and natural resources results in quality places that include an ability to live in smaller-scaled urban places while still remaining in touch with nature and having scenic and environmental qualities close at hand.

Small Town Livability: The ten incorporated communities in Jefferson County all exhibit strong local character with a unique community identity and sense of place. These are real places with a good environment and an attractive public realm created and maintained by the love and care of people who live and work there. Each of Jefferson County’s smaller towns has vital town centers providing the community residents and their guests a focal point and pleasant public domain for everyday social life. A key feature of these successful “Main Streets” is the variety of attractive public gathering places that create that special sense of place.


Like any other region, county or community, Jefferson County remains a “work-in-progress”. It is hoped that a brochure such as this can represent one tool to reveal the unique sense of place in Jefferson County. It is also hoped that this effort can help describe how Jefferson County is building on its assets and advantages while nurturing emerging opportunities for making this an even better place.

Additional resource information on principles of community placemaking is available from the UW-Extension, Jefferson County Office at 920-674-7295 or
UW Extension