From January 2015 to March 2015 the City of Parkville partnered with the Park University Master of Public Affairs Public Management Class (PA 511) on a community-based venture. Initially, City staff worked with Park University Professor (and Parkville resident) Rebekkah Stuteville to select an interesting and viable project with real world management issues for the PA 511 class to research and analyze. After discussion of various projects, the management and maintenance of the Old Parkville Cemetery was selected as the class topic.
Historically, the Old Parkville Cemetery has remained a relatively low priority for the City because of its limited usage as a functional cemetery and the dedication of City resources to other areas of need. Maintenance and management of the Old Parkville Cemetery was a project that was given a score of low priority at the Board planning retreat last summer. However, staff recognizes the need to develop a plan for future maintenance and preservation of the cemetery before the area suffers irreversible damage or requires extraordinarily expensive repairs. The partnership with Park University provided an opportunity to advance this project through volunteer support in lieu of significant City staff and other resources that are committed for higher priorities. Specifically, the PA 511 class was tasked with determining (1) ways to effectively maintain the cemetery on a limited budget and (2) the future of the currently defunct Cemetery Board.
Throughout the semester, City staff checked in on PA 511 class progress via a YouTube video, a live video chat, and discussion in an online classroom. This format provided a way for students to get instant information and feedback from each other and from City officials. As a supplement to the PA 511 class project, students from the Park University Geography Department began a preliminary mapping and online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) project for the cemetery. The supplementary project produced a GIS map and list of visible gravestones in the Old Parkville Cemetery.
The full report presented to the Board of Aldermen on 5/5/15 can be found at the following link: Full Report PDF
The PowerPoint presented to the to the Board of Aldermen on 5/5/15 can found at the following link: Full Presentation PDF