Countywide “Healthy Living Master Plan” created by Strategic Doing committee

Through the Lincoln County Strategic Doing process, and with financial support from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Post Rock Community Foundation, a countywide “Healthy Living Master Plan” was developed by a group of volunteers to help move several priority projects forward. Further history on how these projects were determined is outlined below.

For a downloadable document of the full report, click here: “Healthy Living Master Plan”

A public presentation of the “Healthy Living Master Plan” was Tuesday, April 30th, 7:00pm, at the Vesper Community Center, 1247 N 120th Rd, Lincoln, KS. The presentation was given by both volunteers on the Strategic Doing committee and staff at Schwab Eaton to explain the goals and technical points of the plan.

Listen to the audio recording of the Master Plan meeting:

The master plan outlines scopes of work and cost estimates for the following projects:

Lincoln
1) Sidewalk Improvements – connecting the schools, downtown, and neighborhoods together with safe sidewalks
2) Walking Trail Improvements – creating a loop around the city park for all citizens to utilize for improved physical activity
3) City Park Improvements – including new bathrooms, flood control, and event space
4) McReynolds Mill Park – creating a new waterfront park at the Saline River dam

Sylvan Grove
1) Sidewalk Improvements – connecting the school, downtown, and faigrounds together with safe sidewalks
2) High School Loop Walking Trail – creating a loop around the school for all citizens to utilize for improved physical activity
3) Old Railroad Walking Trail – creating a loop around the school for all citizens to utilize for improved physical activity

Barnard
1) Levy Walking Trail – creating a loop around the school for all citizens to utilize for improved physical activity

Splash Pad Projects (any community)
1) Design and pricing considerations to help plan for a splash pad

The “Healthy Living Master Plan” was written in a format that any volunteer group, who is particularly passionate about a specific project, will be able to pull out their ‘piece’ of the plan and use it. They will have the basic information needed to start applying for grants, coordinating volunteer work days, meeting with city council, and/or whatever else is needed for forward momentum.

Background & History
Over the past 5 years, there has been much conversation among local citizens about the need for trails, park improvements, splash pads and a variety of other amenities in the county that would not only improve the health and quality of life for current residents but also attract new residents and visitors. A brief timeline of these recent efforts include:

2016 – The Live Healthy Lincoln County coalition hired RDG Planning & Design to conduct stakeholder meetings and survey citizens resulting in a list of top priorities including: providing connectivity within communities (sidewalks linking the schools, parks, downtown and neighborhoods together), developing trails, and creating a wellness center.
RDG Health & Active Living Survey 2016
RDG Health & Active Living Report 7-20-2016

2017 – A K-State intern working for the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation developed conceptual plans for trails and park improvements to advance the work began through the RDG survey and reports.  Additional focus groups and stakeholder meetings were held to further refine the concepts.
Sylvan plan
Lincoln plan
Barnard plan

2018 – The Dane G. Hansen Foundation and Post Rock Community Foundation began their “Strategic Doing” initiative challenging local organizations to think about long-term projects that could solve problems and improve our quality of life and economy. Through this effort, the desire for trails and park improvements was again identified as a priority and a Strategic Doing “Trails & Healthy Living” committee was created to help push these projects forward.

As the Trails & Healthy Living Committee began their work, they identified a common problem holding all of these previously identified projects back as being the lack of ‘base information’ needed to move from an idea into a real-life project. While ideas had been discussed many times, the reality of overcoming site issues (such as terrain and soil conditions) or understanding the overall construction and long-term maintenance costs was beyond the experience and skill set of the various volunteer groups. This lack of knowledge would cause momentum to stop before it could even start.

With grant funding from both the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Post Rock Community Foundation, the committee was able to hire Schwab Eaton out of Beloit to develop a countywide “Healthy Living Master Plan”. The plan provides a technical look at a variety of projects and offers scopes of work, preliminary cost estimates and next steps to move each project forward.

The Healthy Living Master Plan was written in a format that any volunteer group, who is particularly passionate about a specific project, will be able to pull out their ‘piece’ of the plan and use it. They will have the basic information needed to start applying for grants, coordinating volunteer work days, meeting with city council, and/or whatever else is needed for forward momentum.

If you have any questions or would like to be involved in any of these projects, please contact the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation at 785-524-8954, LcedfDirector@Outlook.com, or visit the office in the County Courthouse basement at 216 E Lincoln Avenue, Lincoln, KS.