By Senior Program Manager Ali Brown

Beginning January 10, I had the privilege of sitting on the Cedar Lake Farm Equitable Shore Fishing Project Committee in Shakopee, which received a grant to improve and preserve the regional parks’ shoreline.

ProAct in Shakopee visits the Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park several times throughout the year with a favorite activity being the “Let’s Go Fishing” excursions and picnic lunches. In my committee meetings I was able to share the experiences through the eyes of our participants, namely their excitement and the fun they have visiting the park.

The committee is headed by Scott County, in partnership with Three Rivers Park District. It held several virtual meetings and two on-site. At the virtual meetings a vast array of experiences were shared, but people mainly spoke of improvements that could make the park more accessible and preserve the shoreline.

Our on-site meetings consisted of walking the park and determining the areas to make more accessible and to provide a safe shoreline fishing experience for all to enjoy. By doing this we were able as a group to brainstorm the shoreline walk and strategize suggestions from the various committee members. They were open and welcoming and took suggestions into account.

One final meeting will be held virtually to develop the final concept plan, design detail refinement, determine what the preliminary cost estimates will be and cover construction documents.

Not all public entities have been accommodating to people with disabilities, but this committee impressed me with its determination to include suggestions for the people we serve, children and older adults.

We look forward to seeing the final results both on paper and in person, which will give us a sense of pride knowing we were a part of such a wonderful project.