New Ulm, MN | Sports + Recreation
ISG provided its community engagement services to develop a master plan to make enhancements to the City of New Ulm’s athletic complex.
Looking toward the future, the City of New Ulm asked ISG to generate a master plan for its historic athletic complex that included Johnson Park, Johnson Field, Mueller Park, and a Miracle and Junior League baseball field. Located in the heart of downtown, these athletic facilities had experienced much use and needed updates to better accommodate community events.
Community input was a key part of developing the athletic complex’s master plan. Three separate public meetings were coordinated to keep citizens engaged and active throughout the four-month process. This would ensure that completed recommendations would accurately meet the needs and vision of New Ulm residents. The first meeting, as well as a preliminary site visit, took inventory on current facility usage, present concerns, and overall environment to identify key points of improvement that would be integrated into later concept designs. The second meeting adopted an open house format that presented two possible concept plans of changes to the community. Based on this feedback, ISG developed a final master plan after reviewing comments from the third meeting with City officials.
The master plan recommendations considered accessibility and quality as two crucial values to New Ulm citizens. Current amenities needed to be accessible to all local residents, whether an athlete or spectator. To increase accessibility, proposed improvements included making walkways meet American Disability Act (ADA) standards. There was also interest in expanding the Johnson Park and Field Grandstand to offer a singular location for locker rooms, concessions, restrooms, and storage that could be used by any athletic team. Community members also advocated for the installation of a synthetic turf at the Johnson and Miracle Fields, which would increase the number of sports that could use the facilities. Aesthetics were another focus to improve overall field quality and appearance. Feedback indicated a desire for standardizing plant, banner, signage, and pavement materials to deliver a unified message and branding across the complex. There was also discussion about building an additional amenity to celebrate the history of New Ulm athletics, such as a Hall of Fame Museum or Commemorative Wall.
The combination of community engagement and thoughtful decision making produced a master plan that reflected citizen concerns and interests. With the help of ISG, New Ulm has a clear vision of how the Johnson Mueller Athletic Complex can best serve the local sports and recreation community.