Archive for October, 2009

WMSA was happy to read the recent editorial in the Grand Rapids Press about the dune property in Saugatuck where the Kalamazoo River flows into Lake Michigan. The property is currently privately owned. When it changed hands a few years ago, area citizens began trying to acquire at least a portion of this land to be preserved as public land. 

Recently, as the editorial points out, there is a new chance for a deal between advocates of public land and the current owner. But the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is being asked to provide $12.6 million of the $20 million needed to purchase 171 acres for public ownership.

WMSA agrees with the Press that this is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.” We would add that it is more than a Saugatuck issue. WMSA maintains on this and many issues that thinking as a region benefits us all. We stressed this a year ago in a letter of support to David Swan of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance:

“The environmental assets in our region are inextricably linked to our quality of life and economic prosperity, yet rapid population growth and fragmented decision making can jeopardize this natural order. We believe it is essential from a regional perspective, to approach opportunities such as the protection of the former Denison property. This is not simply a Saugatuck area issue, nor a Lakeshore issue – this is a critical issue that impacts all the residents who call West Michigan home.”

Seizing this opportunity will go a long way toward WMSA efforts at both regional collaboration and maintaining our green infrastructure. We encourage the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to recognize this opportunity.




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You may have heard about WMSA’s Regional Indicators  initiative and the “Vital Signs” reports produced to compare West Michigan to other regions around the country. 

If you haven’t done so before, you are invited to have input on this process as the work for the 2010 “Vital Signs” report begins. 

WMSA will be hosting a work session October 29 to discuss indicators  and targets for achievement to measure the region. We hope you can attend and provide your valuable input.

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