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Archive for October, 2010

WEST MICHIGAN, October 27, 2010—As part of its ongoing Green Infrastructure Initiative, and in collaboration with the Land Information Access Association and the Michigan Association of Planning, the West Michigan Strategic Alliance has launched a ‘Tool Shed’ – an online collection of green infrastructure planning and preservation best practice tools.  The address for the Green Infrastructure Tool Shed is: http://www.greentoolshed.org/

A green infrastructure tool is a resource that informs or helps planning officials make decisions about managing the six types of environments that are the focus of the Green Infrastructure Initiative: shorelines, forests, farmland, watershed, biodiversity, or green urban space. Tools include documents, checklists, model ordinances, booklets, websites, and programs. Users are encouraged to submit tools that they have used or developed, so that best practices may be shared throughout the region. 

“The Tool Shed provides examples of what has worked, challenges faced, sample documents and templates, and general information about the preservation of environmental assets,” says Elaine Sterrett Isely, WMSA Green Infrastructure project manager. “The site will help local and regional decision-makers as well as the general public to preserve, protect, and manage our valued outdoor features in West Michigan.”

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Another example of regional collaboration was on display in the regional newspapers this weekend. As part of a series of articles about the Chevy Volt, an article in the Grand Rapids Press and Muskegon Chronicle reported how the three major cities in the region–Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon–are working together to receive federal subsidies for 98 charging stations for electric vehicles.

This particular effort is part of WMSA’s Clean Cities Coalition. The initiative is focused on the development local markets for clean vehicle technologies and creating alternative fuel corridors along 196 and I-196 between Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland.

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Michigan is now #1 in the U.S. for Rail to Trail miles with  2,478 miles, followed by Minnesota  2,309 miles, and Wisconsin coming in at 3rd with 1,788 miles.

This does not take into consideration the other types of trails and bike paths.

Source: Jeffrey Mitchell, Van Buren County Road Commission

Don’t forget to check out the recently released West Michigan Parks & Recreation Inventory at: www.wm-alliance.org/parks

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