Volume 3: December 2010

Mapping Community Assets

written by Xi Lu ‘11 Fahrner Fellow for Community-based research

One of 12 maps developed by Fahrner Fellow Lu Xi ’11 outlining assets to support whole child development in the greater Meadville area.

My summer internship involved working with Professor Amara Geffen to identify community assets in Meadville that can be used by local school-aged students to enhance their educational experience. Our plan was to highlight Meadville’s child development network and expand collaboration opportunities between the agencies in this network, including Allegheny College, and the Crawford Central School District. A series of twelve maps were made using GIS (Geographic Information System), showing all the accessible resources related to child development in downtown Meadville and in the greater Meadville area. All of the data was gathered by interviewing community members, Allegheny faculty members and students, and through resources from the GIS database. The maps identify all schools in the Crawford Central School District (K – College), as well as near-by natural and social resources. The themes of the maps include Local Sustainable Agriculture; Arts & Entertainment; Innovative Stormwater Projects; Outdoor Recreation Sites; Meadville Institutions; Government Agencies; Non-profit Organizations; Family, Health and Housing Services; and CEED’s Art & Environment Initiative Public Arts Projects. Further research and interviews with the organizations will continue into the spring semester in order to create a more detailed and inclusive inventory of current and future Partners in Education.

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