Although the meeting notes will be posted later, there are a couple of highlights that we’d like to share!
Many of you are aware that a group has been raising money over the past two years to help with the construction of a dog park in Ortonville – and they have raised $6,000 to help with this project! Dustin Roggenbuck was at the Park Board/Park Work Group meeting last night and shared an update. Over and above the funds raised, there are others that have committed to assisting with their time and equipment. Hasslen Construction has already assisted by surveying the area for the Dog Park which Dustin described as the land west (behind) Hartman’s Super Valu and next to the bike trail. Dustin has been working with the City to arrange a location, obtaining access to water and electricity to this location. The City has to set up temporary power at the foot of the lake each year for Cornfest (well, they don’t have to – however, this is one of the ways that the City helps out with this Chamber event in our community) and now with the expanding activities at the south end of Big Stone Lake such as Lake Days and the Dog Park, the City is looking into constructing a permanent electrical hub. Dustin has also been talking with Suzanne Souza on ways that the Big Stone County 4-H can get involved with the Dog Park – one of which will be by designing an obstacle course. (another awesome example of 4-H youth at work within our communities!)
A group of community advocates raising funds – finding partnership opportunities with the City and the Big Stone County 4-H – makes for a great project foundation!!
Brian Leaders of the National Park Service attended last night’s meeting to hear what the group has been working on and then provided ideas on how the group can bring together all of the information that has been gathered (through meetings, surveys and from those that have stayed involved by reading the information posted to this website and sending (or calling) in their input) He also shared project ideas that other communities have been and are working on. Our next steps will be following his suggestions and pulling the Plan together – watch for more information to be posted here!
The final student presentations were given on April 29th in the Ortonville Library’s Media Center. I’m going to veer off from my usual “official detailed summary” to say the presentations and the possibilities provided by the students were A-W-E-S-O-M-E ! We will be setting the next meeting soon to discuss the possibilities provided by the presentations, the vegetation assessment that was received and the survey results. I will be sending an e-mail to everyone that has asked to be kept up-to-date on this project so that we can select a day and time that will work best for this next meeting. The process of creating a plan that will ultimately be approved by the Ortonville Park Board and sent as a recommendation to the City Council will now begin.
We had our first Ortonville Park Plan meeting with Brian Leaders of the National Park Service, Kevin Bencham of South Dakota State University Landscape Architecture, and the students. In this first meeting, Brian summarized the assistance that is available to Ortonville and Kevin provided an overview of the goals for his students for this project. The students had traveled to Ortonville in January to explore our town and parks on their own (without a local guide). The students have since had the freedom to prepare their individual perspectives which is providing six different aspects for the parks and how they tie in with the area around us. It was very interesting (and inspirational) to hear from students coming into our town for the first time – to see through their eyes what we have here in our part of the world.
♦ The students will continue to work on their individual plans. (we will be posting PDF’s soon with the presentation boards used during this meeting)
♦ John Ball of SDSU will be bringing his students to Ortonville in March to review vegetation resource assessment including tree risk assessment and soils, woody plant inventory including species, size, condition and location plan – GIS; and develop site-specific planting specifications and plant selection.
♦ The Survey Results (116 surveys) were provided to the group for inclusion in the process. Ryan Sharp of Kansas State Univeristy – Park Management and Conservation along with his students will assist with review of survey data.
♦ Those wishing to provide comments to be considered in the process should send their comments and/or questions to Vicki Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org – the information will be forwarded to the appropriate contact.
The first video below provides introductions of those assisting with the Ortonville Park Plan along with an overview of the assistance that we will be receiving. The second video is the full presentation and discussion video.
(Use the Full Screen option below for a larger video!)
PDF’s of the Student Research Boards shown at the meeting: