Fairmont State University ‘Falcon Park’ Becomes a Reality 

Ava Behr, Staff Reporter

The ‘Falcon Park and Trail’ is currently being constructed right on Fairmont State University’s campus. After a lot of brainstorming, getting everything approved, and planning, the project has taken way through various groups and people on campus.  

When discussing the potential of the on-campus park and trail, Jan Kiger, professor at Fairmont State, stated, “It’s exciting to people. The outdoors are extremely important. The benefits of it are tremendous for our campus and our community.”  

During a Foundations of Outdoor Recreation course, a community project-based course that teaches students about citizenship and stewardship in the outdoors, Jan Kiger produced the idea of incorporating the new trail project into the course. Through Power Points and other ways of showing the idea, the project was further developed upon.  

After speaking with Jan Kiger, Stephanie DeGroot, a member of the Construction Management Department within the Physical Plant on campus, got involved with the idea as well. Some Fairmont State University seniors were looking for a project and the trail idea came up, where DeGroot took the idea to be approved. It was successful and approved as the “Senior Campaign.” There is now a fundraising and volunteer sign-up link, https://www.fsufoundation.org/giving/2021, where community members can help in any way that they can or volunteer on Thursday’s from 12:30-4:00 p.m. 

Currently, the project is in Phase one of development. This phase is projected to be finished by the end of the Spring 2021 semester. As of right now, the trail is only open to Fairmont State students and staff due to the campus being closed to the public at this time. The goal is to eventually have the trail available to the community. There are also potential plans for a grant to build an outdoor classroom, which would benefit many courses, programs, and students at the University. 

Laura BennettGraduate Assistant in the School of Health and Human Performance, is leading the charge in the project. The Engineering Department, Community Design Assistance Class through the Architecture program, and the Creative Sustainability Council are also involved in the project.