Archive for the ‘Conservation’ Category

Greening the Heartland

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

greening-heartlandThe 2009 Greening the Heartland conference wrapped up in Detroit yesterday.

AmericaJR covered the event and recorded Council President Ken Cockrel Jr.’s welcome address. In it, Cockrel highlighted Detroit’s green efforts, including our non-motorized transportation master planning efforts.

Of course we are the Motor City… We want to encourage people to get out of their cars and look at alternative forms of transportation.

Regular readers of m-bike know of Cockrel’s strong support for making Detroit more bike friendly. And clearly that support continues despite his recent mayoral election loss.

Also at the conference was renowned environmental activist David Suzuki. In his keynote speach, he spoke of growing up in nearby Leamington, Ontario and how he enjoyed visits to the Detroit Zoo.

The Detroit Zoo is looking to create a green plan in partnership with Detroit Edison. This plan would likely include improving non-motorized access to the zoo — a topic we’ll soon write about in greater detail.

DNR State Parks Strategic Plan Seeks Public Comment

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Michigan’s DNR Parks & Recreation Division is asking the public to comment on their 2009-2019 Strategic Plan draft.

This plan represents the culmination of two and one-half years of extensive outreach effort to the public and other stakeholders who helped define the goals, objectives, and actions identified in the draft plan.

The draft plan will be available for a 30-day public comment period, and comments may be submitted to via e-mail, or in writing to: Paul N. Curtis, Park Management Plan Administrator, DNR-Parks and Recreation Division, P.O. Box 30257, Lansing, MI 48909-7757.

The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, 2009.

Too much too read?  The summary: The plan is quite comprehensive and includes plenty of input on trails, both on land and on water.  We reviewed and commented earlier on in the process.  The plan has been added to and improved since then.

Overall, it looks real good and should help move the DNR Parks Divsion forward.

Rochester Hills adds Greenspace

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

A View of the Clinton River from the trail

Congratulations to Rochester Hills for their recent purchase of greenspace.

From the Daily Tribune:

The land, located east of Livernois and north of Avon, adjoins the Clinton River Trail. It was paid for with money from a 0.3-mill 10-year millage passed in September 2005 for the purpose of acquiring and preserving natural green space in the city.

The land acquisitions are to permanently preserve wildlife habitats, protect woodlands, wetlands, rivers and streams and expand the Clinton River Greenway and other trail corridors.

If not mistaken, this land is on the north side of the Clinton River Trail and contains some informal deer paths/singletrack.  This land acuisition may allow public access to the Clinton River Trail from the north — a huge benefit to those of us using this trail for transportation.

This isn’t the last land acquisition so long as Rochester Hills has it’s 0.3 mill greenspace millage.

They’re inventoried all of the potential greenspace within their boundaries and have prioritized their acquisition.  There is an excellent map on-line showing this.

Detroit climbs in Sustainability Rankings

Monday, September 29th, 2008
Vacated residential lots become farms in Detroit -- the opposite of what happens in sprawling suburbs

Vacated residential lots become farms in Detroit -- the opposite of what happens in sprawling suburbs

A group called SustainLane recently ranked 50 U.S. cities for their efforts in becoming sustainable.

Detroit jumped up an impressive 12 spots to finish 31st.

Improved biking and walking certainly play a big role in boosting these sustainability rankings.  It certainly reinforces the fact that cycling advocates have so many positive reasons to push for our cause.  From safety to health, from clear air to sustainability, from kids getting to school and the high cost of fuel, there are a myriad of reasons why cities need to embrace improved biking and walking facilities.

According to SustainLane’s summary for Detroit:

America’s “Motor City” is bearing down on the sustainability throttle: the city’s green engine is heating up and has propelled it up twelve spots in SustainLane’s 2008 rankings. What’s fueling Detroit’s upswing? First and foremost, adaptive reuse of land abandoned from decades of suburban flight. Detroit boasts a thriving community garden network growing on vacant land across the city. Quality-of-life issues are a high priority for Detroit officials, who are planning for more greenways, connecting landmarks and bringing in new businesses. The city has already seen a successful transformation of its formerly-blighted riverfront into a bustling area of parks, plazas, and a five-mile recreation path. Expect to see more greening in the near future: City council president and head of the recently-formed “Green Task Force,” Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr., replaced the city’s mayor who resigned early September 2008.

SustainLane also included some short local succcess stories.  Detroit’s was of the Dequindre Cut, “It’s Pronounced De-kwin-dur.”

Macomb Orchard Trail Updates

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

The Macomb Orchard Trail bridge over M-53 near 32 Mile is under construction as of April 14th.  Its completion is expected around the end of July.

In the meantime, the bigger issue is the International Transmission Companies (ITC) “scorched earth” policy of clearcutting trees within their power line easement.  This easement is on both the trail and the neighboring residential properties.  So far, ITC has cleared trees along the trail from Dequindre to Romeo.  They plan on doing the same devastation to the Clinton River Trail.  Both counties are pursuing all options to prevent or mitigate this destruction.

The Detroit Free Press has an article describing ITC’s devastating actions.