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By Renee Walk
OSCAR Group

The Organizing for Strategic Community Action and Representation (OSCAR) Group held the first of two community meetings Oct. 10 at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. Neighbors from across the Northside joined together to talk about hopes and dreams for what the new property could hold and how it could benefit our ever-growing neighborhood.

OSCAR organizers gave a brief history of the site and some details on the very recent sale of the plant property to the Reich Brothers development company. They also shared the results of the community survey first fielded in early 2017. Neighbors then split into groups to brainstorm their wants and needs for any redevelopment and used markers and sticky notes to put those ideas up on maps of the immediate area. The groups were encouraged to dream big and to draw the borders of their map wherever they wanted, not just limiting to the former plant property. The goal was to imagine both how the plant might be developed and how that development should relate to the surrounding neighborhood.

While each group came up with unique visions for what the property could become, they all shared the vision of the redeveloped property being an attraction for work and play on the Northside. OSCAR Group will hold a second community forum and visioning session at Hawthorne Library Friday, Nov. 13, and will then compile the neighborhood wants and needs to share with the mayor’s office, the new Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee, and of course, our neighbors.

Thanks to all who have participated in our sessions. If you haven’t been able to join us, but would like to share your ideas for the future of the Oscar Mayer plant, please write to us. Either send an email to theoscargroup@northsidemadison.org, or write to the Northside News, 1219 Sherman Ave., Madison, WI 53704.