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UniverCity Year Monona A year-long partnership to match UW-Madison courses, students and faculty with needs and projects in the city of Monona

2016-2017


All photographs by Stephanie Nelson and Kelly Conforti Rupp except page 22 by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison and page 25 from the MyMonona website.


Table of Contents

About UniverCity Year

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UniverCity Year Monona project overview

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Learn more about UniverCity Year Monona

6

About Monona

8

Acknowledgments9

Parks and Recreation

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Experiencing nature improves health

12

Improving soils and structures in Ahuska Park

13

Improving Winnequah Park for all residents

14

Ho-Chunk history and culture in Monona parks

15

Active Transportation

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Increasing opportunities to walk and bike

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Walking map of historic Monona

20

Improving residents’ leaf management practices

21

Connected Monona Improving communication technologies

Housing and Economic Development Providing affordable, desirable housing for all

22 24

26 28


About UniverCity Year UniverCity Year is a year-long partnership between UW-Madison and one community in Wisconsin. The community partner identifies projects that would benefit from UW-Madison expertise. Faculty from across the university incorporate these projects into their courses with graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students. UniverCity Year staff members provide administrative support to help keep the collaboration running efficiently and effectively. The result is on-the-ground impact and momentum for a community working toward a more sustainable and livable future. UniverCity Year is applicable to communities addressing issues at the local or regional scale. Cities, counties, agencies and clusters of communities (for example, along a transportation corridor, around a regional center or within a watershed) are eligible to apply. To minimize travel time and costs, applicant communities should be located within a two-hour drive of the Madison area. Communities located further away may be considered if additional funds are contributed for travel costs. By partnering with UniverCity Year, a community can expect the following benefits:

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A high rate of return on investment, with thousands of hours of concentrated student work on community-identified projects

Data collection, analysis, research, concept plans, designs and policy recommendations that can energize staff, increase the range of options available and get “stuck” projects moving

Access to an interdisciplinary group of faculty experts from across UW-Madison with first-hand knowledge of cutting-edge research and practice

Publicity in local, state, regional and national media

Faculty, students and staff who serve as ambassadors for the community by sharing their experiences in conference presentations, community meetings and informal conversations

Engaged students with on-the-ground knowledge of the community who may be candidates for future internships or staff positions

Meanwhile, UW-Madison students benefit from real-world opportunities to apply their knowledge and training. They also bring energy, enthusiasm and innovative approaches to address difficult, persistent problems. For more information, visit our website at univercity.wisc.edu.


UniverCity Year Monona project overview

496 30 23 20

students

projects

courses

faculty

13 7 4 2

UW-Madison departments

UW-Madison schools and colleges

City of Monona project leads

UW-Madison staff

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Learn more about UniverCity Year Monona This booklet summarizes final reports written by students at UW-Madison. For more information about project goals, research methods, findings and recommendations, download the final reports from the UniverCity Year website at univercity.wisc.edu/monona. The final reports include:

PARKS AND RECREATION •

Civil & Environmental Engineering 578: Senior Capstone Design. “Engineering and Landscape Designs for Ahuska Park in the City of Monona”

Civil & Environmental Engineering 578: Senior Capstone Design. “Engineering Upgrades to Winnequah Park”

Environmental Studies 600: Culture and Conservation: Living Ho-Chunk History in Monona Parks. “Preserving Ho-Chunk History and Culture in Parks”

Landscape Architecture 365: Planting Design. “Designs for Ahuska Park in the City of Monona”

Landscape Architecture 451: Open Space Planning and Design. “Reimagining Winnequah Park”

Landscape Architecture 610: Senior Capstone. “Monona Trails Master Plan”

Population Health 740: Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change. “Recommendations for Improving Residents’ Health”

Soil Science 332: Turfgrass Nutrient and Water Management. “Turf Management at Ahuska Park in the City of Monona”

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

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Geography 370: Introduction to Cartography. “Walking Map of Historic Monona”

Geography 578: GIS Applications. “Towards Safe, Efficient Transportation Networks”

Life Science Communication 515: Public Information Campaigns and Programs. “Improving Residents’ Leaf Management Practices”

Population Health 740: Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change. “Recommendations for Improving Residents’ Health”

Urban & Regional Planning 590: Bicycles, Pedestrians and the City. “Going for Silver”

Urban & Regional Planning 912: Planning Workshop. “Towards a Safe Routes to School Plan in Monona”

Wisconsin Open Education Community Fellowship. “Active Transportation Summer Outreach Project”


CONNECTED MONONA •

Agricultural & Applied Economics 323: Cooperatives. “Insights into Municipal and Cooperative Internet”

Life Science Communication 360: Information Radio. “Public Service Announcements for WVMO”

Library & Information Studies 351: Introduction to Digital Information. “Accessibility, Usability, and Search Engine Optimization of MyMonona Website”

Marketing 355: Marketing in a Digital Age. “Increasing Resident Engagement with Media”

Public Affairs 881: Cost-Benefit Analysis. “Municipal Wi-Fi Cost-Benefit Analysis for the City of Monona”

HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT •

Population Health 740: Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change. “Recommendations for Improving Residents’ Health”

Real Estate & Urban Land Economics 365/765: Residential Health. “Monona Senior Living”

Real Estate & Urban Land Economics 611: Residential Property Development. “Monona Drive Site Analysis”

Real Estate & Urban Land Economics 611: Residential Property Development. “Small-Lot Subdivisions”

Real Estate & Urban Land Economics 651: Green and Sustainable Development. “Specialty Building Codes and Energy Efficient Homes”

Urban & Regional Planning 844: Housing & Public Policy. “Financing Options to Achieve Housing Goals”

Urban & Regional Planning 912: Planning Workshop. “City of Monona Strategic Housing Plan Update”

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About Monona The City of Monona is a small community of almost 8,000 residents located on the east shore of Lake Monona and seven miles from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. It was incorporated as a village in 1938 and during the 1950s experienced substantial population growth. After annexing several properties for residential, commercial and industrial growth, Monona eventually became built out. It is now the oldest community in Dane County and is seeking solutions to its aging housing stock, how to grow without the ability to expand and how to preserve its small-town community feel and natural resources during redevelopment. Because of its proximity to the university, and the strong support of Mayor Bob Miller, Monona was chosen for the inaugural year of the UniverCity Year program at UW-Madison. “Monona has a unique, small community feel but is in the middle of Madison, so it has all the conveniences to get to everything quickly. You also get your own parks, swimming pool, police, fire, all the great things. I can walk to the pool, the library, and six or seven parks and don’t have to get in the car. This has become even more appealing after having a child. We didn’t want to spend time commuting. I got a job with [a local company] in Monona after we moved here. Convenience drew us in, and it kept us.” —Monona resident interviewed by students in Urban and Regional Planning 912: Planning Workshop

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Acknowledgments Thank you to Monona Mayor Bob Miller for helping to launch UniverCity Year at UW-Madison by piloting the program in Monona and for being our loudest cheerleader. Thank you to the Monona staff who led the way:

Jake Anderson, Parks and Recreation Director, led the Parks and Recreation projects Brad Bruun, Project Coordinator/GIS Specialist, led the Active Transportation projects Will Nimmow, Director of Community Media, led the Connected Monona projects Sonja Reichertz, City Planner/Economic Development Director, led the Housing and Economic Development projects and was the UniverCity Year Coordinator for Monona

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Parks and Recreation 10


How can we ensure Monona parks will be enjoyed by all for generations to come? Students researched and recommended improvements to the master plans for Ahuska and Winnequah parks. They focused on increasing the usability of the parks, including improvements to lighting, pedestrian paths, sports fields and restroom facilities. UW-Madison courses also investigated sustainable environmental management improvements, like irrigation, drainage, landscaping, shoreline restoration and turf management.

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Experiencing nature improves health RESEARCH SHOWS that spending time in nature has a positive impact on physical and mental health, yet daily contact with the natural environment is becoming increasingly rare. In some communities, the lack of natural spaces prevents residents from experiencing nature. Monona is fortunate to have ten parks that face the Yahara River or Lake Monona. Yet these parks are still underutilized in part because they are difficult for those with limited mobility to access. Students in Professor Jonathan Patz’s Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change class recommended making improvements to these waterfront parks geared towards improving residents’ physical and mental health. These include installing accessible paths and kayak launches, creating more seating and shaded areas, removing trees and brush that obstruct views of the water and improving landscaping to enhance the parks’ natural beauty. Lack of accessible paths and an obstructed view of Lake Monona limit use of Wyldhaven Park.

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Improving soils and structures in Ahuska Park AT 22 ACRES, Ahuska Park is Monona’s second largest park. It hosts a

Sunday farmer’s market and many sporting events, including soccer, football, baseball and tennis. It receives significant sunlight and features an abundance of open, green space. The site is not without its challenges, however. Given its history as a landfill, the soil quality is less than ideal, and the soil that’s present doesn’t drain well. Much of the surrounding area is wetland. Few parking spaces exist. Furthermore, proximity to the Beltline Highway creates noise pollution and limits bike and pedestrian access. Student teams investigated how to work within the constraints of the existing park and reimagined what a new Ahuska Park could mean to the community. Students in Professor Douglas Soldat’s Turfgrass and Nutrient Management class found that while turf management practices at Ahuska Park are in general good, with some changes the turf quality could steadily improve. These include mowing the grass to 2.5 inches, using lighter lawnmowers with sharper blades, spreading activities around the fields and restricting use when fields are too wet or too dry. Students also developed schedules for seeding, aeration, cultivation, fertilization and top dressing. Students in Professor John Harrington’s Planting Design class recommended installing a boardwalk to connect the wetlands to the rest of the park and increase opportunities for exploration, exercise and education. Planting a rain garden would help move and store water across the park. Plantings and smaller pathways could create new spaces for community gatherings, like the farmer’s market. And a natural wind screen around the tennis courts would increase usability.

Students in Professor Greg Harrington’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Senior Capstone Design class focused on increasing the variety of activities taking place in the park by adding a dog exercise area, a youth soccer field and a natural playground. They also recommended expanding the park shelter, adding permeable asphalt walking paths that connect the new features to the sports courts and parking, and upgrading the parking lot surface with permeable asphalt to help manage storm water. To incorporate the wetlands into the park, their boardwalk design featured an observation tower with better sightlines of the entire park, increasing opportunities to connect with nature without leaving the city. While other classes focused on trails within the park, for his Landscape Architecture Senior Capstone project, student Jordan Teichen, under the guidance of Professor Eric Schuchardt, developed a regional trail system that improves accessibility to Ahuska Park. The five-mile loop would connect the park to the Lower Yahara River Trail to the south, the waterfront redevelopment and the Lake Loop to the northwest and circle around Upper Mud Lake. It included a three-mile wetland boardwalk, a half-mile riverwalk, and rest stops along the way with shade structures resembling white wings, the Ho-Chunk meaning of “Ahuska.”

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Improving Winnequah Park for all residents

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WINNEQUAH PARK is the crown jewel of the Monona parks system. The 45-acre refuge in the middle of the city features a whimsical dream park, meandering lagoon, park shelter and plentiful open space. It offers year-round recreation, with sports fields used in the summer and ice skating on the lagoon in the winter. With landscaping and engineering improvements, the park could provide more diverse recreation and entertainment opportunities and become a key destination in Dane County.

Students in Professor Mark Oleinik’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Senior Capstone Design class recommended engineering improvements to existing structures, like renovating the park shelter, expanding a parking lot, relocating the sports fields so more games could be played simultaneously and dredging the lagoon to remove contaminants. They also suggested adding new amenities, including an additional shelter, amphitheater, more restrooms, a ribbon-style ice rink and a series of walkways through the park with bridges over the waterways.

Students in Open Space Planning and Design, led by Professor Samuel Dennis Jr. and Professor Travis Flohr, focused on improving accessibility, diversifying spaces and restoring ecological communities. Their designs included strategies to manage storm water more effectively, provide shade and wildlife habitat, reinforce the degraded shoreline and connect the park features to each other with a system of walkways. They also created outdoor rooms that encourage gathering, learning and lingering, including an orchard, biergarten, picnic area and kayak launch.

Because installing walkways was a main recommendation from both courses, students in Professor Jonathan Patz’s Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change course analyzed the health benefits that residents could gain from added paths. They found the paths would provide greater access to the park for the elderly, the disabled and parents of children who use strollers. Those who used the paths could reduce their risk of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and other common ailments. Creating additional spaces for the community to interact could also lead to feelings of social connectedness and overall better mental health. Though the paths would increase maintenance costs, students found that the benefits outweigh the costs and recommended installing the walking paths around the lagoon and throughout the park.


Ho-Chunk history and culture in Monona parks THE HOOCĄK (HO-CHUNK) have occupied the Teejop (Four Lakes) area for thousands of years. Their history is on display in Monona parks, which contain several Moš’ok (mounds). In collaboration with Bill Quackenbush, the Ho-Chunk tribal historic preservation officer, students in Professor Jessica Conaway’s class, Culture and Conservation: Living Ho-Chunk History in Monona Parks, produced cultural outreach projects to increase the recognition of the HoChunk Nation, their history and the importance of their continued presence within the Monona community. These projects included four lesson plans for K-5 teachers to instruct students on Native American culture, sovereignty, art, history, knowledge systems and geography. Students also created educational signage for Ahuska, Winnequah and Woodland parks, a brochure, website content and a map depicting the Ho-Chunk’s impact on Dane County.

Rising from the heat “Fire is an integral part of the natural life cycle of an oak savanna ecosystem, like the one in Woodland Park. Ho-Chunk People, native to the Monona area, traditionally use fire ecology to protect medicinal plants by clearing the adjacent area, and to fireproof areas around settlements, lessening the risk of uncontrolled wildfires. The Ho-Chunk Department of Natural Resources uses prescribed burns today to manage their tribal lands, restoring and maintaining prairie and savanna ecosystems. Native oak savanna and prairie plants have deep roots that survive these fires and get a head start in regrowth ahead of non-native and invasive species. Oak trees adapted specifically to survive fire, with tough bark that insulates the inner “cambium” layer which carries food and water. To this day, Woodland Park is burned seasonally to maintain a healthy oak savanna ecosystem.”

The Woodland Trail in Woodland Park guides hikers through a large, oak savanna.

—Students wrote this text for a proposed sign in Woodland Park

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Active Transportation


How can we make transportation safer and more accessible? Students proposed improvements to Monona’s transportation infrastructure, ensuring that biking and walking routes to transit and key destinations are safe and accessible to all. They also examined the social behaviors around active transportation, designed a campaign to encourage biking and walking to schools and assessed the health benefits of increasing active transportation options.

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Increasing opportunities to walk and bike THE MONONA Comprehensive and Sustainability plans include goals to increase the number of residents using alternative transportation, including walking, biking and transit. Not only do these activities decrease greenhouse gas emissions, they also correlate with better physical and mental health outcomes. Student teams analyzed what infrastructure and policy changes Monona should make to increase options to walk and bike safely.

Professor Kurt Paulsen’s Planning Workshop class surveyed parents about walking and biking to school. They found that although 50 percent of students could walk to school within 20 minutes, and 70 percent of students could bike to school within 15 minutes, only 23 percent of students walk or bike to school. Parents whose children do not walk or bike to school cite speed of traffic, amount of traffic, lack of sidewalks or pathways and poor weather as concerns.

Under the guidance of Professor Carolina Sarmiento, student Maria Castillo surveyed residents about their active transportation habits for her Wisconsin Open Education Community Fellowship. She found that most respondents drive to their destination, except when going to the park (walk) or library (bike). They cite limited time, poor weather and long distances as hindrances to active transportation. Cyclists prefer using bike paths or streets with bike lanes. Pedestrians prefer quiet streets with sidewalks and lights.

Students in Professor Dave Cieslewicz’s Bicycles, Pedestrians and the City class audited Monona intersections and adjacent streets. Their research showed that residents use bicycle lanes, sidewalks and street lanes incorrectly, they don’t always know how to cross difficult intersections, and they don’t always wear a helmet.

The Lake Loop around Lake Monona is popular with both pedestrians and cyclists.

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Two student groups in Professor A-Xing Zhu’s GIS Applications class analyzed the network of active transportation infrastructure in Monona. The first group investigated which transportation routes present safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists. They found that while adding sidewalks and bike lanes can make active transportation safer, Monona should also consider

Schluter Park features a bike pump and tools for cyclists.


interventions on routes with fast and heavy traffic. The second group explored how to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment. They found that pedestrians are more likely to walk when they have a low-stress route, such as a sidewalk. The recommendations from these classes are clear: Monona has an opportunity to increase the number of residents who safely bike and walk by upgrading its infrastructure. The city should install or widen bicycle lanes and add bike boulevards and bike boxes. It should construct sidewalks and crosswalks with pedestrian signals, especially along Winnequah Road, Frost Woods Road and Bridge Road. Traffic along key routes should be slowed down, including Monona Drive, Bridge Road and Broadway. The intersection of Greenway Road, McKenna Road and Maywood Road should be redesigned. Students also recommended that the city organize bicyclethemed events and skills classes, create print and digital guides and work with committees on transportation ordinances, plans, referendums and policies. Students in Professor Jonathan Patz’s course, Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change, analyzed how implementing these recommendations would benefit or harm residents’ health. They found that engineering improvements, such as creating bike paths and sidewalks, should be prioritized first, as the resulting increases in ridership and safety are significant. Moreover, the health benefits and financial returns of these improvements exceed the implementation costs. Monona should then focus on enforcement, education and encouragement strategies.

“Unsafe streets for pedestrians are a self-fulfilling reality. If we provide sidewalks in the right places, then kids can get to schools by walking, more parents will encourage walking, and more families will buy homes here who want safe, walkable communities.” –Monona parent interviewed by students in Urban and Regional Planning 912: Planning Workshop

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Walking map of historic Monona

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NORTH

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M o n o n a

k e L a Pooley, Robert House

Louise House

Ed Rothman House

8

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Engel

27-28

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Ernies Trading Post

Bungalow Cube

Tonyawatha Springs

11

Charles Fix House

Cottage

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Willard Tompkins House 23-24

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A.T. Lomboley Cottage

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19

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6013 Winnequah Rd.

Broadway

Contemporary ERNES TRADING POST

Tower of Memories

29

Numbers correspond to page

18

numbers in booklet

10-11

12

404 Lamboley St.

24

14

Heart of Mary

Schofield

Nichols School

6

Thorp Finance Corporation

Paul Harris House

ng

Frank Allis Farm

22

21-22

9

Monona Dr.

Chet Clarke House

20-21

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1

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Sears and Roebuck House

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21-22

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Spring Haven Pagoda

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Monona

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Winnequah Rd.

Broadway

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22

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500 Interlake Drive

6108 Winnequah Rd.

Saint Teresa

12-13

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14 Schofield St.

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Parkway

Edward A. and Irene Thomas House 25

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Bridge

30

W Broadway

Beltline

George Nichols Farm

26

Tyler Engelman House 18-19

Cronin-Meyer House

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C. Wright Thomas House 27

7

Gary and Mora Lincoln House

Adolph Wagner House

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Fred Schleuter Farm

29

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Nichols School William Schultz Farm

Bump, Marvin House

Black Bridge WPS

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Hamilton and Gwen Beatty House

Houses

Historical Community Sites

atha

Miles

Moderne

Effigy Mound

23

Royal Airport

16

23

watha Trail Tonya Tonyaw

28

0.5

Cultural Native American Relation

Schroeder, Otto and

8

0.25

Dylan Osborn, a student in Professor William Gartner’s Introduction to Cartography class, created the Walking Map of Historic Monona to highlight the significant historical, cultural and architectural sites that residents can discover on a stroll through Monona.

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Improving residents’ leaf management practices LEAVES RELEASE NUTRIENTS as they decompose. This is great for lawns. However, when leaves break down in the street, the nutrients are washed into the local waterways, leading to algae blooms, excessive weed growth and closed beaches. Leaves in the street also strain the storm sewer system.

Develop lesson plans to teach school children how to turn leaves into usable soil. These kids will in turn teach their parents.

Reframe proper leaf disposal as a social norm—something that everyone just does.

Students in Professor Neil Stenhouse’s Public Information Campaigns and Programs class designed marketing campaigns to improve residents’ leaf management practices.

Consider the timing of the campaign to start in summer, when the lakes are affected by algae blooms. Put posters about leaf collection at popular recreation spots on the lake.

Students found that Monona residents are environmentally conscious and concerned about the water quality of Lake Monona. Residents have a general understanding that proper leaf disposal is important for environmental health, and they know how to properly dispose of leaves. They want to do the right thing. However, residents don’t know when collection trucks will remove their leaf piles. As a result, leaves sit at the curb for far too long and inevitably end up in the street and gutter. Few residents mulch or compost their leaves, and some residents do nothing, letting leaves lie wherever they fall.

Offer incentives to encourage resident participation in the campaign.

Develop partnerships with local organizations and businesses to help disseminate information.

Based on this research, students recommended that Monona better inform residents about when leaf collection trucks will be in their neighborhood. This information could be delivered through the MyMonona website, Facebook, email, text messages, flyers and refrigerator magnets. Other campaign strategies included: •

Remove the city from the process. Explain how mulching and composting are easier than raking and better for the grass.

CAMPAIGN SLOGANS •

Don’t be that neighbor

Rake for your lake

You won’t beleaf how easy it is to keep your lakes clean

Like clean lakes? Use your rakes!

This stinks! Leaves on the street in fall feed blue-green algae in the long haul.

Lend your lake a helping hand

Grab a rake and save your lake; don’t leaf it to your neighbors

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Connected Monona 22


How can Monona connect citizens and communicate effectively in a new era of technological innovation? Students helped revamp the city’s digital resources for residents. Targets included researching the costs and benefits of a citywide Wi-Fi infrastructure, improving the usability of the city website, expanding the city’s presence on social media and providing programming for the community radio station.

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Improving communication technologies CONTINUOUSLY LOOKING to improve services for

its residents, city staff realized the changing landscape of wireless internet technology and wanted to investigate several options for providing indoor and outdoor wireless internet to businesses, homes and visitors in Monona. Would it make sense for the city to get into the internet business? Students in Professor Anne Reynolds’s Cooperatives class found that municipalities often pursue municipal internet projects because residents in rural or outlying areas don’t have access to high-speed internet. This is not a problem in Monona. Additionally, Wisconsin state statute largely discourages local governments from pursuing municipally owned wireless internet projects. Those projects that do get approval are costly, complex and time consuming. Students in Professor David Weimer’s Cost-Benefit Analysis class found an 80 percent chance that the city would lose money from implementing in-home wireless internet. And no outdoor wireless scenario returned positive results. As a result of this student research, Monona decided not to pursue a municipal wireless project.

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THE CITY USES ITS WEBSITE, MyMonona.com, as its main

communication vehicle. Residents can use it to find information about city council meetings, property appraisals and taxes, applying for a pet license and everything in between. Students in Professor Dorothea Salo’s class, Introduction to Digital Information, evaluated MyMonona.com to help the city ensure it is effectively communicating and connecting with residents. More than 120 students evaluated the website based on three criteria: accessibility, usability and search-engine optimization. They found that the website includes much useful information. However, it is difficult for visually impaired people to use. The amount of text and varied menu options can overwhelm and confuse users. And while the website often comes up near the top of search results, improvements can be made. Students recommended a website redesign to include improving navigation, streamlining content, using alternative text, metadata and header tags, changing the background color, increasing the font size, fixing broken links, enabling the browser cache and making the site more interactive through online forms.


MONONA COMMUNITY MEDIA (MCM) provides entertaining and educational content through its cable television channel and radio station. While the radio station engages successfully with residents, its TV channel and related YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages attract less resident interaction. Students in Professor Kathryn Krueger’s Marketing in a Digital Age class developed strategies to increase resident engagement with MCM’s TV channel and social media pages.

STUDENTS IN Professor Larry Meiller’s Public Information Radio class produced public service announcements for 98.7 FM, WVMO, the Voice of Monona to inform listeners about the variety of services available in the community. Listen to all the public service announcements on the radio or at univercity.wisc.edu/monona/psas.

Students recommended that MCM post content that is more likely to be watched, liked, commented on, retweeted and shared, such as videos featuring local residents and businesses. Any content should be posted between 6 and 9 p.m., when MCM social media users are most active. MCM should also develop partnerships with local organizations and share each other’s social media posts. Other recommendations included: •

Publish content on the MCM website and through an e-mail newsletter.

Set weekly and monthly goals for increasing engagement and measure results using the social media services’ analytic tools.

Use analytic tools to determine the type of content users value the most.

Hire a student intern to implement these suggestions if help is needed.

The Voice of Monona bike in Winnequah Park.

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Housing and Economic Development 26


How do we balance the need for stability while addressing community change and redevelopment opportunities? Students examined the current housing climate in Monona to inform redevelopment goals and select sites for redevelopment. Focus areas included affordable housing, preservation of single-family neighborhoods, and development of mixed-use and commercial real estate to draw new families and businesses to the City of Monona.

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Providing affordable, desirable housing for all MONONA IS BUILT OUT and cannot open up new areas

to development. Its population numbers are shrinking and residents are getting older. Few single-family homes or apartments have been designed with seniors in mind. Many homes are becoming unaffordable for first-time homebuyers, and affordable homes need time-consuming and costly renovations. These are just some of the challenges facing current and potential Monona residents. In 2007, the city adopted a strategic housing plan to provide diverse housing options for seniors, enable first-time homebuyers to move to Monona and promote maintenance and renovation of existing homes. Then the financial and housing foreclosure crises hit. Is the plan still relevant? In a large part, yes, according to UW-Madison students who worked on Housing and Economic Development projects. Students in Professor Kurt Paulsen’s Planning Workshop recommended that the city focus on developing small-lot subdivisions that feature shared spaces, a community-oriented atmosphere for young families and seniors, and are more affordable for first-time and less-affluent homebuyers. Meanwhile, mixeduse housing development projects should include affordable apartments for all, with universal design and accessibility options for seniors. Finally, Monona should develop marketing campaigns that promote the many local, state and national financing options available to residents to invest in their homes and preserve neighborhood stability.

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Professor Kurt Paulsen’s Housing and Public Policy course investigated financing options to implement these recommendations. Students found continued strong demand for Renew Monona, a city-managed loan program for homeowners to remodel, renovate or otherwise improve their homes. In future application cycles, the city should consider expanding the program so more home-improvement projects are eligible for funding. The city should also consider offering a first-time homebuyer down-payment-assistance program and low-interest loans to make purchasing and repairing older homes and rental properties more feasible. Students in Professor Tom Landgraf ’s Residential Health, Residential Property Development and Green and Sustainable Development classes tackled the issues from a developer’s point of view, identifying sites and concepts to address Monona’s housing challenges. For the two blocks on Monona Drive between Dean and Lofty avenues, students recommended mixed-use development featuring market-rate and affordable rental units and townhomes—both with design considerations for seniors, parking and retail spaces for current and new tenants. Pirate Island Road and Falcon Circle, both near West Broadway and the Yahara River, were identified as ideal places to develop pocket neighborhoods of small-lot subdivisions to appeal to young families and seniors alike. Students in Professor Jonathan Patz’s Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change course investigated the effects that implementing these recommendations, particularly renovating units at Anthony Place and Pirate Island Road, might have on residents’ health. They found that these areas are in need of renovation: the neighborhoods


are deteriorating, and the buildings may pose a health risk from degrading materials with environmental toxins. But the area has potential. Neither development is historically significant, thus renovation would not negatively impact the character or “look� of Monona. The locations encourage physical activity, like walking, as both are within one mile to a park and grocery store, within two miles to a health-care clinic, and the streets have sidewalks. Furthermore, revitalization could lead to safer neighborhoods with an increase in racial and income diversity. To see the highest benefit on community health, and to achieve Monona’s housing goals, any renovation projects should include affordable and senior units. Access to quality, affordable housing can reduce stress and allow residents to spend money on other needs, including food and health care. Revitalization projects should also include safe removal of potentially environmentally hazardous building materials, include sidewalks and feature inviting landscapes and outdoor spaces. Treysta on the Water is part of a new, mixed-use development that includes 123 apartments, a restaurant and a yoga studio on the site of a former mobile home park.

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Jason Vargo

Kelly Conforti Rupp

UniverCity Year program director

UniverCity Year program manager

univercityalliance@wisc.edu

kelly.rupp@wisc.edu

608-890-0330

608-890-0330 univercity.wisc.edu

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UniverCity of Monona Booklet  

UniverCity of Monona Booklet  

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