Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission meeting (Sept. 6, 2012): Commissioners were briefed on two items at this month’s meeting – the greenbelt program’s strategic plan, and a design for the program’s logo.
It’s been three years since the strategic plan was last updated. In this latest version, no major changes are being made to the program’s existing priorities: protecting large blocks of farmland as well as natural areas in the Huron River watershed, and building partnerships to leverage other funding sources.
In addition to those, a new priority is being added: Educating Ann Arbor residents about the program’s efforts, and reaching out to landowners in the greenbelt to ensure that the flow of applications continues. [.pdf of revised strategic plan]
Commissioners gave additional feedback at their meeting, and the plan will be sent to funding partners for their input too. The greenbelt advisory commission is expected to vote on the final plan at its Oct. 4 meeting.
The group also weighed in on designs for a new logo to help brand Ann Arbor’s greenbelt program. The design is intended to show the connection to the city, as well as images representing both farmland and natural area preservation. There’s space for logos of partner entities, and text that indicates what kind of land is being preserved and whether the land is private or public. The intent is to use this image on signs at the properties that are protected by the greenbelt program, and on brochures and other materials.
In updates to the commission, Ginny Trocchio – who is the program’s support staff – highlighted plans to hold another bus tour of greenbelt properties on Saturday, Sept. 22. The trip will focus on the eastern portion of the greenbelt, and its connection to the Superior Greenway. She also noted plans to participate in the Sept. 8 HomeGrown Festival, an event showcasing local food.
In their main action item, commissioners voted to recommend that the city council partner with Washtenaw County and Webster Township, contributing 25.5% toward the purchase of a parcel identified as application number 2005-08. (The first four numbers signify the year in which the application was made.) Tom Bloomer abstained from the vote. He owns Bur Oaks Farm in Webster Township, and serves on the township’s farmland and open space board. He did not indicate his reason for abstaining.
Two days earlier, the city council had approved two purchase-of-development-rights (PDR) deals that GAC had previously recommended: the 90-acre Alexander farm in Webster Township, and a 136-acre property owned by Robert H. Schultz in Superior Township. Jane Lumm (Ward 2) voted against both deals, citing concern that no local partners contributed to the land preservation efforts. Both deals include federal grants to cover a significant portion of the costs.