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WVU helping to plan new Ranson Park

WVU helping to plan new Ranson Park

A team of faculty and students from West Virginia University travelled to Jefferson County from Morgantown on January 28 to help the City of Ranson finalize plans for its new Flowing Springs Park.
The WVU team consisted of Angela Campbell, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture; Dr. Steven Selin, Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources; Jenny Selin, Community Design Team Coordinator; and (number) graduate students.
Professor Campbell is using the park planning process as a case study for her landscape architecture students. Professor Selin is using the process as a case study for graduate students enrolled in his course, "Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management."
The landscape architecture students will develop an overall plan for the park, and the Natural Resource Management students will propose land management and community involvement strategies.
During their visit, the WVU team met with members of the park's planning committee, including Ranson Mayor Mark Hammil; Ranson Parks and Recreation Director Jimmy Pierson; Ranson City Planner Sarah Kleckner; Jefferson County Commisisoner Lyn Widmyer; Michael Schwartz, of the Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute; Herb Peddicord, the West Virginia Division of Forestry's Chesapeake Bay Forester; Lee Snyder and John Billmyer of Snyder Environmental Services; representatives of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society; and several Ranson residents.
Planning committee members briefed the WVU faculty and students about the park and the city's vision for its future, including trails, interpretive signage, wildlife habitat, and other passive recreation elements. The group then walked the park property to see its features first-hand.
The WVU team will be coming back on April 2 to participate in open house at the park and continue gathering input from community members.
WVU's involvement in the park planning process was facilitated by a "TogetherGreen" grant received last fall by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society.
The TogetherGreen grant program is a collaborative effort of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, Inc. It is designed to fund innovative conservation projects, support conservation leadership, and offer volunteer opportunities that significantly benefit the environment and reach new audiences.
It awards grants to Audubon organizations and partners that demonstrate exceptional creativity in working with other groups on projects that will produce tangible benefits for environmental quality. The Potomac Valley Audubon grant was one of 43 such grants awarded nationwide last fall.

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