BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Community leaders gathered at the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC to present upcoming projects that will have positive impacts on our communities.

Three projects discussed were the Mandan sledding hill, a financial literacy program in our schools, and the blue light security system at BSC.

The financial literacy project will create an educational platform to allow high school students to gain hands-on experience with real-life financial literacy skills.

“The value of in-state tuition versus out-of-state tuition,” clarified Elliot Rust with Seafoam International. “And we also coupled that with a program called ‘Reality Check’ –which is a free program that teaches students their expenses.”

The platform also educates students on the different job opportunities they can take while still going to school, as well as sheds light on how many employers will help students pay for the cost of higher education.

“A lot of those students didn’t understand that,” said Rust. “That there are employers that have such a demand for some of these roles that they are willing to help with the education cost.”

The next project discussed was the Blue Light Emergency Systems. One group wants to improve public safety and security on and around Bismarck State College’s campus by implementing safety and security features — like the blue light poles, which can be found on other college campuses such as Minot State and the University of North Dakota.

“The blue light project came out of a love for community,” said Escrow Closing Officer, Courtney Hamilton, “and recognizing as we grow and as our population grows. As campus grows there really is that need to show a commitment to safety and security.”

Blue light safety works just like calling 9-1-1. The only difference is that you would just be pushing a button instead of dialing the iconic number.

“It works like you would do a 9-1-1 call,” Hamilton stated. “It would be a direct call to CenCom that would dispatch either Bismarck Campus PD between the hours of 8 and 2 or the Bismarck Police Department.”

In another project, a group wanted to make North Dakota winters a little bit more fun. That’s how the idea of a Mandan sledding hill started. The proposed project would create a multipurpose winter recreation space in Mandan, which could also be utilized for summer recreation.

“We started off with the idea for a tow rope and tubbing hill,” explained Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Gabrielle Abouassaly, “but recognized that starting with a designated sledding hill and a larger public space rather than directly in a specific neighborhood would provide a good opportunity to provide that space for citizens.”

The Mandan Parks board approved the initial phase for the sledding hill, with a possible location in Sunset Park. The group argues having a designated sledding hill will give families the opportunity to have fun in a safe location.

Though each of these projects are focusing on different aspects, the projects all have one thing in common: enhancing the Bismarck/Mandan community.