Redefining the Classroom


LSSU's unique natural location provides an opportunity for our students to work directly in an environment that mirrors that of many careers.

For example, the LSSU Recreation Club (right) provides hands-on experience to those in the Parks & Recreation program.

Dan Wydra, a 1989 LSSU parks and graduate and chair of recreation board for Gladstone, MI, contacted Professor Sally Childs with a proposal to do a site assessment and create a recreation land use plan for Gladstone’s Van Cleve waterfront park. The plan would serve as a framework for the park’s current management and future development.

Wydra was familiar with Lake Superior State’s Parks & Recreation program from personal experience, and knew that this type of land use planning was part of the curriculum.

“The possibilities excited me, so I e-mailed Gladstone Recreation Director Nicole Sanderson and confirmed our interest in getting involved,” says Childs.

Recreation club members have completed three land-use plans for Van Cleve Park, using data provided by Sanderson. Students applied their GPS and GIS skills to create a very accurate map, part of a final product the club submitted to Gladstone last week.

“Each of the three composite plans we submitted has three interchangeable elements that allows planners to mix and match recreational activities the city may want to support through the Van Cleve area,” says Childs. “Hopefully the recreation board will find our ideas appropriate and submit our recommendations to Gladstone’s city commission for final funding.”