A handicapped accessible deck with a bench and railing offers a view over a shallow pond. Photo courtesy of Town of Milnor, North Dakota.

Hidden assets that help you build community 

In our Placemaking Your Parks, Trails and Waters video, we talk about making more of the outdoor spaces you already have. I told how we used a bunch of empty lots in a floodplain to create a whole new park area on the cheap.

Carol Peterson shared her own “hidden asset story” with us:

Milnor is in southeast North Dakota, and we have a lake next to our town that many people have for years referred to as a slough and gave no thought to (very shallow, no fish). Well, our little lake is actually part of the Storm Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It is also in the heart of the prairie pothole flyway for waterfowl.  

We determined to make this a focal point in our little town, and I have gotten ten different grants to assist us in building a 12′ x 24′ wildlife observation deck on the lake and the run down, overgrown prairie road next to the lake will be spiffed up (graded, graveled and trees and brush cleaned up) for an 888-foot walking path. This is our lemon to lemonade project. 

Carol Peterson, City of Milnor, North Dakota

Carol also asked us to share photos from the stories in our video, so we added a PDF you can download. One more bonus: audio! Now you can listen online instead of watch, or download it to listen on-the-go. 

What hidden asset is waiting in your community?

Keep shaping a better future for your town,


PS – You can watch (and listen to) the Placemaking Your Parks, Trails and Waters video (and audio!) at SaveYour.Town 

Photo of the actual Milnor wildlife observation deck courtesy of Carol Peterson