Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 19. 2013
Baroda, Bridgman, Berrien Springs Showcased for Community Excellence
3B’s Agri-Tourism Ignition Effort Recognized at Statewide Conference
LANSING, Michigan – A joint effort by the communities of Baroda, Bridgman and Berrien Springs was among projects by 27 communities showcased on April 9 at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition during the League’s 2013 Capital Conference in Lansing.
The Baroda, Bridgman and Berrien Springs 3B’s Agri-Tourism Ignition effort was one of four presentations at the League’s Region 2 Roundtable, which includes all communities in the south-central and southwestern portions of the Lower Peninsula. The winning Region 2 entry was St. Joseph’s Silver Beach Development Project. The other Region 2 nominations were Albion’s Crowell School project and the South Haven Kal Haven Trail Extension and Williams Street Reconstruction.
“Since 1980, Berrien County has lost more than 50 percent of its manufacturing jobs. These jobs were the lifeblood of the economy for Bridgman, Baroda, and Berrien Springs. Today, the number of jobs available in the county is about the same as before, but replacement jobs support the growing hospitality, entertainment, arts, and tourism businesses,” said Bridgman City Manager Aaron Anthony.
The 3B communities, plus surrounding townships of Lake, Baroda, and Oronoko, came together to reinvent the Lake Street/Shawanee Road “Lake to Grapes” corridor into a nationally recognized agri-tourism location offering wine and fresh produce. The work included cooperative rebranding of the local economy emphasizing tourism, promoting the vintner/brew geography as a nationally recognized brand, rebranding individual community identity into themes such as “Beach Town” and “Heart of Wine Country,” and undertaking an award winning cooperative “wayfinding” communication program, Anthony said.
The 27 communities participating in this year’s CEA competition are Region 1 (southeast Michigan): Eastpointe, Linden/Fenton/Holly; Grosse Pointe, New Baltimore, Plymouth, Rochester, and Westland; Region 2 (central and southwest Michigan): Albion, Baroda/Bridgman/Berrien Springs, South Haven and St. Joseph; Region 3 (central-west Michigan): Belding and Whitehall; Region 4 (mid-Michigan): DeWitt, Ithaca and Mt. Pleasant; Region 5 (the thumb): Harbor Beach, Imlay City and Lexington; Region 6 (northern portion of the lower peninsula): Rogers City; and Region 7 (upper peninsula): Ironwood, Ontonagon, and Sault Ste. Marie. The winners from each region will now go on to compete for the statewide CEA title during the League’s Annual Convention September 18-20 in Detroit. The seven regional winners are Linden/Fenton/Holly, St. Joseph, Belding, DeWitt, Imlay City, Rogers City, and Ironwood.
The CEA program, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s communities.
For additional details contact Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League, at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.