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?