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Planning Context

Jefferson County has been recognized throughout Wisconsin for implementing Wisconsin's first countywide comprehensive plan since approved Smart Growth legislation. More notably, the Jefferson County plan has been discussed as an extremely effective growth management and land preservation plan since land consumption has been reduced by 75% since implementation of the plan in 2000. The Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin DOT, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture have publicly cited Jefferson County as having the most progressive and effective integration of parks, natural resource protection, agricultural preservation, land use and bicycle planning in Wisconsin. Part of the success in many of these initiatives has been the role of the University of Wisconsin with its research, planning and design expertise along with the University of Wisconsin Extension in customizing the application of University knowledge in meeting local needs. The use of graduate student workshops, student capstone projects, and other campus based research (supervised by experienced University faculty) has been widely and effectively used and appreciated in Jefferson County. This proposed graduate student workshop would complement the sound planning and project implementation that has been taking place in this County.

Current Planning Context

While the scope of this proposed research and planning project can be fine-tuned and customized to meet mutual University and County needs, the following project components are suggested:

Research and latest trends on the importance of parks, natural resource protection, and trails in planning, community placemaking, community livability and community development.

Fiscal impact assessment of the benefits of parks and trails in Jefferson County. (Assuming implementation of the Land Legacy Initiative and County Parks and Open Space Plan).

Research and implications of the Land Legacy/County Parks initiative on the Gateway communities adjacent and within the proposed Land Legacy boundary area. (Most all these communities are pursuing or considering enhanced downtown vitality and placemaking initiatives; what are the benefits and opportunities for these communities to be aware of and prepare for?

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