8 80 Cities is pleased to announce the three cities that will participate in the ground breaking two-year Wintermission program: Buffalo, NY; Eau Claire, WI, and Leadville, CO.


In November 2018, we launched a call for program partners and challenged U.S cities to assemble diverse teams that would advance the goals of Wintermission. The response was astounding, and 62 cities of all sizes submitted applications.

Through this project, we set out to combat social isolation and increase levels of physical activity in winter for all residents, no matter their age, ability, socio-economic, or ethnocultural backgrounds. Each city will undertake a process of community engagement, pilot projects, and the development of a unique winter city strategy.

Meet the Cities

Buffalo, NY

Memorable winter weather events such as “The October Surprise” and “Snowvember” are fundamental to Buffalo’s collective resilience. Since the iconic “Blizzard of ‘77,” the city has experienced six severe winter storms, the most recent of which culminated in nearly eight feet of snow and required the dispatch of the National Guard.

Read More

However cold Buffalo winters might be, it’s citizens and mayor are committed to the challenge. Through Wintermission, Buffalo wants to facilitate equitable public activity that shows it to be a creative, inclusive, engaging, and fun place to live, work and visit during winter. The city’s Wintermission plans include incorporating community into the developmental and implementation stages of winter programming further cultivating social cohesion between residents and the institutions who serve them.

Beyond the cities evolving efforts to address winter weather, the city has also committed to the World Health Organization’s standards of an “Age-Friendly City.” We are certain that Buffalo will further its internationally-renowned winter-wonderland status for all and transcend Wintermission and winter itself towards a more engaged and connected city of good neighbours.

Eau Claire, WI

People in Eau Claire love gathering – concerts, soccer and farmers markets are commonplace in the Wisconsin town located at the confluence of the crystal clear Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. However, the average 40-60 days of sub-zero temperatures, snow and reduced daylight impacts the way public space is used in the coldest months.

Read More

Despite its winter weather, there’s an appetite to extend Eau Claire’s summer energy into a year-round spirit of gathering where residents thrive.

By participating in Wintermission, Eau Claire aims to achieve community-informed, data driven, equitable, and creative winter strategies to decrease social isolation and increase opportunities for physical activity. Part of the city’s plans include targeted placemaking, programming, and facility development/improvement in Pinehurst Park and the 16.5-acre Cannery Park along the Chippewa River.

We look forward to working with Eau Claire in their Wintermission journey to become a Winter City Vanguard and build a culture of public life in winter.

Leadville, CO

Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America and the coldest place in Colorado. Cold winter days dampen Leadville’s otherwise bustling downtown streets, parks and trails. Breaking down barriers to access, enjoyment of community resources and social opportunities in all seasons is a shared priority for the Leadville Wintermission team.

Read More

Leadville, through the Get Outdoors Leadville! Project, has developed innovative winter initiatives like establishing a winter gear lending library and bilingual, culturally-informed outdoor adventures for youth and families to get out and enjoy winter while building comfort and skill with new winter sports. Through the Wintermission project, the Colorado town hopes further these efforts, shift public perception towards winter and get more people of all ages actively embracing social opportunities and public spaces during these key months.

We are excited to join efforts with Leadville, as they continue to develop strategies and practices that create an intergenerationally-inclusive, healthy and connected winter city.

The Journey

Subscribe to the Wintermission newsletter for updates and the latest news from winter cities around the world.


Wintermission is led by 8 80 Cities and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of CAF America or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Project partners include the Children and Nature Network and National League of Cities. Advisors include the Winter Cities Institute, City of Edmonton, Town of Cochrane, City of Copenhagen, and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Join our mailing list.

Hear about how we are creating cities for all.

You have Successfully Subscribed!