When Holland, Michigan native Quinn Bouwkamp decided to spend the week working from her friend’s apartment in Coldwater, she ran into a slight problem. As the Director of Business Development for her family’s company Bouwkamp Builders, she often works remotely. “A lot of my work is online,” she told the CBPU. While Quinn has the flexibility to work indoors throughout the day, her adorable German Shorthair “Chief” prefers to be outside. The need to balance work productivity while caring for Chief was a concern.
Thankfully, Quinn’s friend knew how they could get the best of both worlds.
“I was working in her apartment when I came to visit, and my friend was like ‘they just got free Wi-Fi over at Waterworks Park,’” Quinn recalled. “I’d been there a few times before, but once I heard that I was like ‘That sounds like a great change of scenery.’”
In June 2020, the CBPU began supplying free Wi-Fi to areas of Coldwater’s Waterworks and Heritage parks as a way to improve Coldwater’s overall digital footprint. Some students and workers in Coldwater have little to no access to the internet, which makes doing essential tasks online, such as attending digital classes or sending out job applications, difficult. Through these hot-spots, the CBPU hopes to improve the quality of life that is essential for living in today’s world by connecting the park to the CBPU’s gigabyte fiber network. Being able to spend time outside while doing these things is just another bonus.
As a recent graduate of Hope College, Quinn missed the free, outdoor Wi-Fi access that her campus provided. “I am used to campus Wi-Fi being all over,” she said. “I took it for granted when I was there. I thought, ‘oh my goodness, Wi-Fi outdoors isn’t normal here?’”
With free Wi-Fi and a park to use it in, Quinn was able to do her job while simultaneously allowing her and Chief to enjoy the beauty of Waterworks Park. “Being able to give him the time outside we both needed while still being productive has been a blessing,” Quinn stated. “I love being outdoors, and having to work inside on the computer without being able to walk outside and hang out there has been tough. Now I get to merge those two worlds. I get a little balance of both, and it’s great for Chief as well. He will just layout and bask in the sun.”
Not only did the park’s free Wi-Fi help Quinn work in an environment better suited for her needs, but it also provided her with lightning-fast internet due to its connection to the CBPU’s new fiber network. “It’s really fast!” she said. “I was testing different areas, and I was like, wow, this is impressive! I can’t say I have found a spot like this in Holland. I can’t think of any parks with free Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi this fast. It’s just so sweet to be able to come out here.”
In the end, Quinn wanted to express her appreciation to the CBPU and those who helped make this free Wi-Fi possible. “I just had to say thank you,” she said. “I can say with certainty that the dog is just as thankful as I am, if not more!”