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The Highground Looking for Feedback Regarding Future of the Park
Monday, December 2nd, 2019 -- 1:34 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director


-The Highground is looking for your opinion on the future of the organization as they continue to move forward.

I spoke with Ike Rebout from The Highground and he explained that there are going to be changes to the park as they move forward, but they want to know what direction they should move from you.

“And that’s really the heart of the matter. What should the changes be? The question is really, do we want to keep the park as is? Or do we want to potentially expand our programming and our growth with the organization overall? We have a lot of competition with other veteran’s parks, similar to Arcadia, or La Crosse, or down in Madison, some of those types of areas. And so, really, there was an opportunity for us because we are different in the fact that we are the nation’s premiere manned park, that we had opportunities to help veterans in ways that some of those other parks didn’t.”

“So, we wanted to understand where should we be going for the next 40-50 years? And so, really, the next 2-3 years is going to define the next 40-50 potentially for The Highground and say this is where we want to put our resources be it towards veteran’s programming or we want to put it toward park expansion or wherever that is. And so, we’re really trying to get information and feedback from the community over all and ask them, where do you want us to go next? We can’t just make that decision as a staff or Board of Directors or internally. We really need that community knowledge and the community’s feeling of this is where we think you should be going.”

In order to get that information, they’re asking you to fill out a survey on their website.

“The survey is designed for two parts. Number one is to help identify what the mission goals should be and then to also help identify what the program expansion goals should potentially be. And that’s where our decisions in the course of the next 2 years will be defined based on the responses that we get from that survey.”

Ike said the survey shouldn’t take to long depending on a few things.

“It depends on the user because we do pack in a lot of information in there with our mini-case summary regarding what we’re looking at, what the expansion projects are potentially. And so, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. It can take as much as 10-15 minutes. It really depends on just how interactive the user wants to become with the survey.”

If you’d like to provide your input, you need to hurry. The survey will only be up for a little while longer.

“It’s actually going to be up for about another week and a half. We’ve been doing this survey for about 3 or 4 months now. This is kind of the last push to make sure everybody has had a chance to review it, take a look at it. And this is really that last push to get as much feedback as we can from everybody in the community.”

Ike explained why you should take the time to fill out this survey.

“The biggest reason is to tell us what the mission should be moving forward. At the end of the day, we serve the veterans and the veteran’s community. And we need to understand if we’re doing it in the best of ways or if there’s things we can improve on. And how do we improve on those things and here’s some solutions we’ve come up with.”

Finally, Ike ended our interview by reminding people not to be intimidated on the estimated price tag of their dream list of things they’d like to accomplish.

“Probably the biggest thing is that people will see the number, the 7.25, and really, that is the wishlist scenario. We’re not anticipating that we’re going to raise 7.25 and I know that the community is concerned that that’s a really big number to have the board. It’s not our goal to raise the 7.25 necessarily. It’s more along the lines of this is everything we could do if we raise the 7.25, but, in the same token, we want to know what the community thinks what we should be doing and that will adjust that number as well.”

“So, that number is not a stagnant number. That number is the wishlist, dream scenario and we can always cut it back or taylor it back to what the community input is and what the community desires for us to do for our veterans.”

You can find that survey on The Highground’s website.

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