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  • Writer's pictureBecky Norton

Blog College Hill Memorial Park

December 10, 2018

One of the lessons I’m learning is that there is a limited amount of information and time available sometimes to make decisions.

As a council member I do my best to talk to city staff, residents, and others in the community or who have knowledge about a topic. I’m constantly listening and hearing throughout my normal daily tasks.

The vote on the lot across from the Goodhue County Historical Society was one of the times where I just wish we had more information.

As many of you who know me know, I’m a big proponent of the outdoors and the environment. A strong connection to nature is necessary for a healthy well balanced life. So the opportunity to bring more green space into the city was on its surface welcome. Additionally, the findings of city staff about residents in the area wanting a playground space was also compelling. However, in reflecting on the He-Mni-Can agreement, honoring the terms of the property is also of great value. So I knew if we accepted this property we were also accepting the terms of the property as well. Because the future of that College Hill is a work in progress I didn’t want the city to make a promise it would have a hard time meeting.

And here’s where those limits come into play. Perhaps with more time we could have learned more about what was most important to the donor and how we could have met those wishes in the development of that College Hill campus.

I hope that that donor and the city will be able to come to the table again and with more time work on something that would meet everyone’s needs: signs recognizing the significance of College Hill and playground for the residents.

City Staff presented some amazing plans over the summer for Red Wing parks. I saw some new natural playground structures. I have a vision of walking trails, signs, and structures that blend together and flow throughout the College Hill Campus and weave together the history of college hill and a child’s natural desire to explore nature. I see residents out for an evening stroll, walking a dog, and walking with children in tow as well. I see children experiencing nature through wooden and natural play structures: climbing, balancing, touching within eyesight and earshot of their parents. Parents and grandparents reading and sharing the hill’s history with the children as an integrated part of the College Hill Memorial Park. What better place than the site of these colleges to be innovative and using what research has taught us about nature and how essential it is to thriving communities and supporting the development of strong and healthy our youth.

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