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Mankato grad students to assess future of Worthington parks

WORTHINGTON -- Three Minnesota State University in Mankato (MSU) graduate students have begun a project to shape the future of parks in the city of Worthington.

WORTHINGTON - Three Minnesota State University in Mankato (MSU) graduate students have begun a project to shape the future of parks in the city of Worthington.

 

Ahmed Shiiraar, Jaclyn Essandoh and Namuun Bayasgalan are all second-year graduate students taking part in MSU’s Urban Studies Institute. Their 14-week effort, “Comprehensive Update, Needs Assessment and Reinvestment Plan of Worthington Parks System,” is a final project of sorts.

 

Worthington Public Works Director Todd Wietzema enlisted their help to build a long-term needs assessment and reinvestment plan for Worthington parks.

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“It’s something to lead us in the future, for council and staff to know what we need budget-wise,” Wietzema said. “We want to know what we want to do five, 10, 20 years from now.”

 

Much of the team’s information will come from surveying Worthington residents about their park usage and habits. It will be in town for King Turkey Day to hand out surveys, and will also host surveys online. The team will also collect input from community forums, local developers and the city planner.  

 

In addition to public input, the students will utilize Geographic Information System data to better understand the characteristics of the city’s geography.

 

After gathering sufficient data, the three will come up with a re-investment plan, and present it to the parks commission, city council and, of course, their professor and classmates.

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For more of this story, see Saturday's print edition and dglobe.com.

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