The Howell Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Community Vision Award to the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute for its facilitation of the ongoing Livingston County Strategic Growth Plan in partnership with the Howell, Hartland and Brighton chambers. Glenn Pape, MSU Extension educator and project coordinator, accepted the award presented Jan. 26 at the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner at Crystal Gardens in Howell.
According to Soji Adelaja, director of the Land Policy Institute, “The research-based great work of Glenn Pape was at play here. Congratulations to MSUE.”
When the Michigan legislature passed the Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act last fall, MSU Extension educators and our partners at the Land Policy Institute saw an immediate opportunity to help Michigan residents learn how to make the most of this influential legislation. The act requires that at least 10 percent of an electric provider’s energy must come from renewable sources by 2015. That lends itself to a great opportunity for farmers, residents, investors and others to build renewable-energy infrastructures that allow them to sell energy back to energy companies.
Beth Stuever photo.
Within eight weeks of the act becoming law, the MSUE Land Use Team and LPI launched a workshop focusing on the wind industry and how it works. Over the course of five months, they taught 1,100 people in nine locations throughout Michigan about wind-energy systems and local ordinances. The attendees, many of whom were elected or appointed officials, received sample zoning guidelines and land-use decision making tools, and learned how to address on-site and personal energy-generating systems. To top it all off, many received Master Citizen Planner credits.
This fast-turnaround, high-value workshop is an excellent example of our how our nimble network of Extension educators and partners can quickly respond to Michigan’s needs.
It takes many hands to put something like this together.
- Kurt Schindler, district land use educator, took the lead in creating development and siting guidelines.
- Mike Schira, Houghton CED; Bill Carpenter, Iosco CED; and Adam Kantrovich, Ottawa CED, developed materials for a sample county-wide ordinance.
- Wayne Beyea, LPI associate director of citizen empowerment; Glenn Pape, regional land use educator, Charles McKeown, LPI; Mary Ann Heidemann, regional land use educator; and Jasneet Sharma, land policy educator, taught the workshop.
- Soji Adelaja, director of the LPI, provided the vision to ensure MSUE is on the forefront of these activities.
Next up, the group will retrofit the information for a national audience and make it available through the North Central Region Center for Rural Development. Thanks to the team for their quick and effective response!