Iowa State University students have been in and out of Perry the past few weeks to study the City’s parks and trail systems.

The City of Perry hired the ISU Department of Community and Regional Planning to help develop a parks and recreation plan. The City also hired SVPA Architects to study the City’s recreation facilities, including the McCreary Center.

The ISU students have made multiple trips to Perry to study the parks and recreation areas. James Weatherly said the class met with John Anderson, the parks and recreation director, as well as Sven Peterson, the city administrator. The class also collected photo data and took extensive notes to create a list of each park and its amenities.

“Going forward, what we’re starting now is the community engagement piece,” Weatherly said.

The class worked to help develop a community survey with the Parks and Recreation Department and SVPA Architects. The survey can be found on the City of Perry website in both English and Spanish. Flyers were also sent out with the water bills.

The completed surveys, Weatherly said, will help the class with their visioning process to create a parks and recreation master plan.

Kaylinn Taggart said the class recently met with a steering committee to go over their initial findings. The class will meet with a second steering committee on Oct. 24 and will engage with focus groups.

Based on the feedback from the surveys and the focus groups, Taggart said the class will then refine its final master plan. The class will help present the plan to the community on Nov. 28.

Amelia Abrahams said the class of 17 students is working together to create that master plan. The class formed three small groups to help break down the project. One group looked at neighborhood parks, another looked at community parks and the last one looked at trails and greenways.

While the class is divided into groups, Zoey Mauck said all of the groups work well together. One example of that is where Perry sits between the Raccoon River Valley and High Trestle Trails.

“So it’s not just the trails people thinking about how people are going to get in and out of Perry, it’s about how they can move through it and really enjoy all of the green spaces and the public access points in the City,” Mauck said.

She encourages the public to take the survey to help the class, the Parks and Recreation Department and SVPA Architects develop a useful master parks plan.

“For me, this is really exciting because I know, maybe if not the whole plan is implemented, aspects of it will move forward and be a reality someday,” Taggart said. “And it will truly be something that the community wants because we’re hoping everyone is involved in this process.”

The survey can be found online at