The third annual Michigan Green Communities conference is scheduled for November 2, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League's Capital Office in Lansing. Staff and elected/appointed officials from local government, colleges and universities, or other organizations partnering with local government are invited to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Initial presentations to the entire audience of 75 will last 10 minutes. Presenters will then have the opportunity to lead break-out discussion sessions with 10-30 attendees to continue a more in-depth conversation about the presentation topic. Submit your proposal here by July 27.
Contact Laura Matson with the City of Ann Arbor with any questions. Visit the Green Communities webpage for presentations and videos from the previous two conferences.
The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program is currently accepting proposals for free technical assistance. RTCA's mission is to assist community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation initiatives. RTCA staff provide guidance to communities so they can conserve waterways, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways. Applications are due August 1. Learn more by visiting the RTCA website.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for Michigan Green Communities and the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him via email or Twitter.
Here's a thought provoking story out of Walker. Seems as if 64 seniors decided to do something a bit different as part of the end of year prank tradition. They rode their bikes to school and paraded them in front of a assembly.
As recounted by "Streetsblog" the initial response from the Kenowa High principal was to not only suspend them for the last day, but to ban them from walking at commencement! After howls of protest from parents, the principal relented.
But the real discussion from this story is the fact that such a "prank" as riding ones bike to school would get a group of high school seniors in trouble in the first place. These students get it...now if we can get adults to understand the importance of creating bicycle and pedestrian spaces, we might actually be able to create 21st century communities.
And, reports from the conference committee negotiating a new federal transportation program indicate that there is a a number of House members that would like to eliminate the program that provides communities with the funding needed for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
This is why its important for League members to contact Congressmen Camp and Upton as they work to negotiate a new federal transportation authorization bill. Tell them to support the current "Transportation Enhancment" program and the “additional activities” language in the Senate bill that would help revitalize Main Streets, make streets safer for walkers and bicyclists, and allow local governments direct access for communities to these funds.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or email@example.com
Think public transit is not as big a need in rural areas as it is in urban ones....think again. A new report from "Reconnecting America" notes that nearly 40 percent of the United States’ transit-dependent population — including senior citizens, the disabled and low-income individuals — lives in rural areas.
The key of course is making public transit work in rural areas. And the report, "Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America" gives plenty of examples from around the country of how rural transit systems can be an economic catalyst and an important community service.
The report comes at a key time when a conference committee in Congress made up of House and Senate members is negotiating their way toward a new federal transportation authorization act. Michigan Congressmen Dave Camp and Fred Upton are members of the committee. They need to hear from you about the importance of public transit and the positive impact it can have on the economy of both urban and rural areas of our state.
League members and transportation advocates are encouraged to write Congressmen Camp and Upton and their own congressional representatives now!
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org