Children at Just Like Home School Age Child Care are feeling upbeat as they participate in the Kasson 2040 Game Board. They took the task seriously, recognizing the game was about their future. From left around the table with their grade in parenthesis are: Madelyn Alden (2), Maren Hodgman (2), Chase Myer (4), Carly Henderson (4), Nicholas Avikainen (4), Nina Bailey (4), Violet Thompson (2), Abree Hilgart (2), Brooklyn Reding (6).
Photo courtesy of Marlo Bungum
By Melanie Dobson
On Wednesday, July 25 about 40 members of the Kasson community attended the first workshop in a series of events that are working towards the writing of a new comprehensive plan for the city.
Led by Brad Scheib of Hoisington Koegler Group Inc., participants wrote a six word memoir for Kasson, now, in 2017 and at the end of the session another six word memoir for Kasson in 2040. The game board process in the middle helped residents to write their final memoir.
Separate groups gathered at a game board which worked around a map of Kasson. There were questions and categories to encourage discussion on the assets as well as the deficits of the community. Notes were written on the board to record team members comments.
Players put stickers marking where they lived in Kasson (blue), their favorite park (green), yellow for where the city should plan for new residential growth, and red to mark the worst location for traffic.
Participants had one hour to work their way around the board. Then each group was asked to share what Scheib described as their "ah, ha!" moment, things that really stood out, for them.
Kasson resident Bruce Schwartau works for Minnesota Extension, his job focuses on improving the economies of rural southeast Minnesota. After the workshop, he commented he was glad they not only talked about the good things in Kasson but the bad or not so good things as well.
"I appreciated that not only did they do asset mapping but they also included a listing of obstacles that need to be improved. Too many developers are only using asset-based community development but this group expanded the process."
The city has a 12 month schedule to come up with a comprehensive plan, Schwartau noted you can't come up with a plan in one night. "I think there are a number of important factors that weren't talked about that evening but that was not the focus for this event. You can only do a certain amount of work in the time allotted."
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald.