The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has appointed over 50 representatives from various local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profit groups and universities and utility companies to serve on a green infrastructure task force.
“SEMCOG has formed a Green Infrastructure Vision Task Force that is charged with providing guidance in development of the Green Infrastructure Vision for southeast Michigan,” said Amy Mangus, manager of SEMCOG’s Plan Implementation. “Resource teams have been formed that will allow for additional discussions connecting green infrastructure and water resources, land use, air quality, and the economy.”
Southeast Michigan was recently awarded a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant effective between February 2011 and February 2014. Developing a Regional Green Infrastructure Vision is a key component of the grant program.
Green infrastructure can take a variety of forms, such as trees, plants, forested areas, and riparian areas to manage land, air, and water quality. It can also include the community usage of these types of areas with public beaches, trails, parks, wildlife habitats, and water trails.
The mission of the task force is to incorporate green infrastructure into the fabric of the region in support of economic prosperity; desirable communities; reliable, quality infrastructure; fiscally sustainable public services; healthy and attractive environmental assets; and access to services, jobs, markets, and amenities.
“SEMCOG will benchmark the amount of green infrastructure in the region, develop metrics and targets of opportunity for increasing green infrastructure, and develop recommendations on how we can collectively accomplish the vision,” Mangus said.
Of the 25 representatives of local agencies from southeast Michigan, one from the lakes area, Wixom Assistant City Manager Tony Nowicki, will serve on the task force.
Anne Vaara, the executive director of the Clinton River Watershed Council, is also a member of the task force.
“It’s an honor,” she said. “It’s a great group of people, a great visioning session. I’m very appreciative to be invited to sit on this working group.”