‘We are all a part of the community,’ CRP works with City of Ames on redevelopment of Welch


Courtesy of Susan Gwiasda

Community Regional Planning

Kendall Sharp

Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club paired with the City of Ames to create a survey to determine opinions on redeveloping Welch Avenue.

“This survey is important for students to take because they have a direct impact on what happens on Welch Avenue,” said Bridget Williams, president of Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club.

Williams became president of the club as a sophomore in 2016. She managed to add and maintain 20 club members since she started.

“I came to them with this crazy vision of wanting to have us do work in the city of Ames,” Williams said. “So, we use the things we learn in classes like city planning solutions, waste management, transportation, housing, different environmental issues. We are in a small enough city where we can make a difference.”

Students have not been very involved in city decisions in the past, and Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club seeks to change that.

“You see buildings taken down and parking get taken away but people don’t really know what’s going on around campus,” Williams said.

Over the past year and a half, the Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club has made connections with Campus Town Action Association, Ames Bike Coalition and the City of Ames to meaningfully include students in the decision-making process.

Welch Avenue is due for construction in 2020, and students’ survey responses influence what will be redeveloped.

“We are all a part of the community, and the student body is a huge part of that population,” said Jasmine Khammany, secretary of Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club. “We also use Campustown a lot so it’s very important for us to have a say in what goes down on Welch Ave.”

Khammany said one of her biggest concerns is student safety. She used to live in towers and would travel on Welch every day.

“Many of the business owners don’t like us riding bikes on their side walks, so I think it would be beneficial to have bike lanes down that street,” Khammany said.

Students can have a direct voice in what happens on Welch Avenue.

“What we want is for people to stay involved,” said Susan Gwiasda, Public Relations Officer for City of Ames. “Stay active in their local government and in their communities, to participate when these options come up. It is our obligation as the local government to make sure that you are aware of these options.”

All of the information from this survey will be put into a report for the City Council October 9. If the City Council approves the recommendations of that report, the consultants will put them to work on Welch Avenue.

“Everything has been leading up to this moment,” Williams said.

You may fill out the survey at by going to https://www.cityofames.org/WelchAve

There will be a Welch Avenue Reconstruction Open House August 30, at St. John’s Episcopal Church from 4:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m

Students may also expect an email with the survey attached in the next two weeks.

Stay up to date with the Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club by following their Twitter account @ISUCRPundergrad