Tag Archives: gov. snyder

PlacePlans initiative leads to passage of Allegan riverfront proposal

More than 70 percent of Allegan voters approved a proposal Nov. 5 to take $500,000 from the city’s sinking fund to support a riverfront plan.

The plan is a collaborative effort of the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC), MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League (MML). The concept is built around Gov. Snyder’s MI Place initiative that focuses on placemaking – creating vibrant, walkable places where people want to live and work. The three parties worked together through PlacePlans, a MI Place partnership that helps communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects with the support of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). MSU received a grant from MSHDA to develop design proposals around placemaking.

Warren Rauhe, SPDC associate professor, said, “The passing of the proposal is an outstanding first step. This is seed money. Other grants and funds could double or triple that amount.”

“One of the main tenets of PlacePlans was to build local consensus resulting in a shared local vision and tangible outcomes,” said Wayne Beyea, outreach specialist in the SPDC. “The community got together and there was real action that happened right on the heels of the proposal’s unveiling.”

The Allegan riverfront plan involved three components: 1) the plan and the illustrations 2) the audit of the assets that the community already had to support the plan and 3) the actual process itself involving hundreds of people including a design charrette. A charrette is an intensive multi-day, collaborative design workshop resulting in shared guiding principles for physical improvements.

The primary role of the SPDC, led by Wayne and Warren, was to develop planning and design recommendations and offer technical assistance.

Luke Forrest and Heather Van Poucker of the MML coordinated and audited the community’s assets.

MSU Extension field staff played a key role in guiding the charrettes following the National Charrette Institute’s Charrette System. They interacted with key stakeholders and assisted with facilitation of interviews. MSU Extension educators involved are part of the government and public policy work group in the Greening Michigan Institute. They include Brad Neumann, Julie Pioch, Dean Solomon, Michelle Walk and Richard Wooten.

“The collaborative approach using Extension expertise around design charrettes is what makes this project unique,” said Wayne. “Warren and I worked in concert with students, faculty, MSU Extension educators, MML and state agency partners, using funding from MSHDA. The effort went so well that the same three partners are under contract to do this again.”

Allegan is one of four cities that were part of MI Place placemaking projects and collaborative efforts by MSU SPDC, MSU Extension and the MML. The others include Alpena, Sault Ste. Marie and Dearborn.

“The projects involved more than 1,400 local participants among the four communities – extensive public involvement,” said Warren.

“PlacePlans strives to reach the goal of attracting vibrant talent to the state,” he said.

The work of the SPDC, Extension and the MML should help that goal become a reality.

Read the Downtown Allegan Riverfront Development Project PlacePlan Concept Report:


Read an article and watch a video about the proposal on this WZZM 13 webpage: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/272417/2/Riverfront-proposal-on-Allegan-city-ballot

Read more here in this MLive article: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/11/allegan_city_voters_xxxx_50000.html#incart_river_default

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I Know MI Numbers health and wellness project wins health care award

The health and wellness project of the Michigan State University Extension I Know MI Numbers initiative won an Innovations in Health Care Award April 30 at the Lansing Champion of Hope Tribute Dinner. The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and its partners sponsor the awards.

The project won first place in the category that recognizes projects that promote knowing the four health indicators of Gov. Snyder’s 4 x 4 plan: body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar.

The team knew the project was a finalist but did not know it won first place until it was announced at the dinner. They received a plaque and $1,000.

The MSU Extension I Know MI Numbers initiative focused on five key areas relating to Gov. Rick’s Snyder’s dashboard, which provides an assessment of the state’s performance in key areas including education, health and wellness, financial health, infrastructure, talent, public safety, and energy and environment.

In the health and wellness area, our I Know MI Numbers project focused on healthy weight in residents of Saginaw and Genesee counties. It examined the effectiveness of nutrition education programs to address healthy eating, physical activity and health indices in adults. Participants attended a weekly series of classes emphasizing behavioral goals and strategies associated with healthy weight. Data analysis showed statistically significant changes related to several health behaviors and indices.

MSU Extension educators Dawn Earnesty and Christy Rivette accepted the award. They also presented a poster on the project. Legislators, health care providers, managed care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, the Michigan Department of Community Health staff members and the business community attended the dinner.

In addition to Dawn and Christy, the I Know MI Numbers health and wellness team includes Dr. Dawn Contreras, Sheilah Hebert, Lynette Kaiser, Margaret Lashore, Freda McNair, Cathy Newkirk, Dr. Olga Santiago, Kris Swartzendruber, Donna Taylor, Lisa Treiber, Christina Warner and Teressa Young.

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MSU Extension staff offers bullying prevention workshops

Educators – along with the wide variety of adults who live with and care about young people – now recognize bullying as a serious health issue. Gov. Snyder’s signing of Public Act 241 of 2011, an anti-bullying bill, shows that Michigan takes bullying seriously. This act, known as “Matt’s Safe School Law,” requires that all school district boards adopt and implement a policy no later than six months after the passage of this legislation. This law takes a significant step toward addressing bullying and violence within school settings; yet, for the law to be effective, adults who work with children and youth need to learn more about these issues and ways they can work with young people to foster healthy relationships and positive settings both within schools and in other kinds of youth settings.

 And that’s where our Michigan State University Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute Social-Emotional Health and Well-Being Work Team comes in. A new initiative, Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments, developed under the leadership of MSU Extension program leaders Janet Olsen and Karen Pace, will address issues of bullying, bias and harassment through a lens of differences. To get caring adults started with some concrete strategies to confront these complex issues head on, the team will offer the ABCs of Bullying Prevention: Addressing Bullying in Community Settings. This half-day workshop partnering our Health and Nutrition Institute with our Children and Youth Institute will take place in five locations on five different dates in March and April.

 Find out the times and dates of the workshops here.

 Read more about addressing bullying and the Be Safe initiative here.

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Operation: Military Kids plans appreciation days, other events to celebrate military kids month

Military families are at the forefront of today’s headlines. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, recently launched a campaign to rally support for U.S. service members and their families.

 And April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. Gov. Rick Snyder kicked off the month in Michigan by signing a proclamation. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Military Children, the Strength of Our Future.” It’s an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.

 Michigan State University Extension 4-H Operation: Military Kids (OMK) and its state partners are putting on a series of military child appreciation days during the month of April. During the events, military kids receive certificates at an award ceremony and take part in fun activities. On April 8, during Military Child Appreciation Day, military families got to experience what the Detroit Science Center had to offer. Another Military Child Appreciation Day took place on April 10 at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. Activities included a family barbecue, a self-guided tour of the zoo, and a special animal presentation. And yet another appreciation day will take place at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, April 23.

 Military kids took part in two Red Cross babysitter’s trainings and a youth sports clinic as part of the Month of the Military Child as well.

 All of these activities let military kids know that they are appreciated.

 Operation: Military Kids is led at MSUE by Kendra Moyses, OMK project director, and B’Onko Sadler, military state liaison.

 According to B’Onko, we need to remember that children serve, too.

 “They endure stress and other issues associated with deployment. We provide programming and events that connect them to other youth experiencing the same or similar situations,” he said.

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