Unity Trail

Simley Students Help Advance Inver Hills Unity Trail Project
Posted on 04/18/2022
Simley student leaders after the Dakota County Board of Commissioners meetingInver Hills Community College (IHCC) recently proposed redesigning, enhancing, and expanding an existing nature trail on its campus to highlight BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) voices from the local community. Simley High School students in the Students of Color Leadership group and Black Student Union (BSU) partnered with the college to get the Inver Hills Unity Trail Project approved by the Dakota County Board of Commissioners.

The Inver Hills Unity Trail Project will transform IHCC’s outdoor space in a more community-focused way. The college will reimagine its one-mile native prairie trail with signage about local American Indian history and information about promoting the protection of the natural environment. Once finished, the trail will be open to the community, including Inver Grove Heights Schools.

Several Simley students representing the Students of Color Leadership group and BSU attended the Dakota County Board of Commissioners meeting this April to speak to the benefits of the trail in terms of equity and inclusion of BIPOC community members. The project was approval by the board. Simley students will continue to be involved in the planning and programming for the Unity Trail. ISD 199 also hopes to develop curriculum that incorporates the trail, its themes, and the outdoors into future classes.

Thank you to Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins for driving this process and promoting student voice in local government!