U of M helps Brooklyn Park shape city’s future
As the school year comes to a close, so too does a major project in Brooklyn Park that will shape the city's future.

The nine month collaboration between the city and the University of Minnesota is called the 'Resilient Communities Project.' Nearly 300 students completed work on two dozen projects, and the students' findings will be used to implement city policies for years to come.

"I think it's great that the U allows us to go in the community and actually use what we're learning in class and apply it," said Stephanie Boylan, a U of M graduate student. "And I think this is a great opportunity to do so because they have so many students working on the Resilient Communities Project, so I think they're going to get a lot from it."

Boylan was one of the 300 students involved in the Resilient Communities Project. Her role was to assess the access to healthy food for a section of Brooklyn Park called the Zane Avenue corridor.

Her final task was to present her findings -- and a list of recommendations -- to people at Brooklyn Park City Hall Monday afternoon.

Since September, students from various U of M colleges worked on a total of 24 projects within the city, ranging from potential changes the city could make to its park system, to how to diversify the police department, to how North Hennepin Community College could use its undeveloped land.

"The partnership was fantastic," said Angelica Klebsch, Brooklyn Park's business development coordinator. "We were really grateful to be selected, and we're really excited about the recommendations that the students came up with. It's great stuff. They brought an innovative, fresh approach to some of these problems that we've been turning over for a while, and we're looking forward to seeing what we can do with them."

The last group of students will present their results to city officials in the coming weeks. The city paid the U of M a $40,000 fee to participate in the study. Hennepin County and North Hennepin Community College contributed $5,000 a piece.

Delane Cleveland

May 15, 2017


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