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City of Bemidji Wins APA Award for Comprehensive Park Plan


Left to right: Jillian Reiner (Widseth), Marcia Larson (City of Bemidji), Joe Czapiewsk (JFC Strategic Services)

The City of Bemidji was recently honored at the American Planning Association – MN Chapter Conference with the prestigious Comprehensive Plan or Small Area Plan Award. This accolade recognized the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department’s outstanding efforts in equity-based strategic planning.

Widseth contributed to this accomplishment thanks to the dedicated efforts of Landscape Architect Jillian Reiner. Teaming up with Joe Czapiewsk from JFC Strategic Services in Bemidji, they served as consultants to develop a comprehensive system plan for the City of Bemidji. Adopted by the City Council in November 2022, the plan is the result of a year’s worth of work.

The project’s success was attributed to a robust public outreach effort involving stakeholders, focus groups, and an online survey with more than 500 responses. The plan analyzed the existing park and trail system and outlined a 10-15-year implementation strategy.

Currently, the City of Bemidji is actively executing the plan’s action items to enhance its parks, trails, and maintenance operations. We congratulate the City of Bemidji for this well-deserved recognition by the American Planning Association – MN Chapter and look forward to more successful projects in the future.

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