Plan Unveiled to Support Economic Vitality Along the Manistee County Coast
ARCADIA, MICHIGAN - A six part plan has been crafted for Arcadia Township in northern Manistee County by partnering organizations that will create world-class destinations for recreation that will support the economic vitality of this Lake Michigan coastal community.
The four-color plan outlines development strategies for Arcadia's Lake Michigan Beach, known as "Sunset Station," a non-motorized pathway to connect recreational and business destinations, a universally accessible fishing pier and multi-purpose facilities at Arcadia Lake's Grebe Park, a welcome station at Pleasant Valley Community Center, a universally accessible pathway and interpretive facilities at the C.S. Mott Preserve in Arcadia Dunes and potential birdwatching, hiking, fishing and nature interpretation facilities at Arcadia Marsh. Members of the Arcadia partnership include Arcadia Township, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the Manistee County Community Foundation, the Pleasant Valley Community Center and Explore the Shores.
The plan was reviewed with personnel from grant programs in the Michigan Department of Natural; Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Great Lakes Fisheries Trust in a series of meetings on January 28, 2013. Work at two sites, Sunset Station and Grebe Park, has already been funded with grants from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.
"We will be submitting a grant application seeking $300,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to complete Phase 2 of the work at the Township's Lake Michigan Park," said Brad Hopwood, chair of the Township's Planning Commission. "The Arcadia partners group will be working in lockstep over a period of years to complete this plan. Our natural resources are second to none. Through a development plan that respects their fragile and special qualities, we will create a system of universally accessible destination that will be unrivaled. Those destinations will bring people to Arcadia to play and, eventually, live and work. It's a credit to everyone that we have unified around a plan to leverage the assets we are blessed with in ways that will support the long-run prosperity of our community."
"There is a growing trend throughout Michigan to learn from much of the good work happening in northwest Michigan to make conserved and protected lands a big part of community-driven economic development strategies," said Megan Olds, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. "The unique resources, the partnerships and the unity in the Arcadia community about its future will undoubtedly become a learning example that will attract state and national attention." The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve and most of Arcadia Marsh are owned and managed by the Conservancy.
"We will also present this to the many representatives participating in the Lakes to Land Regional Initiative as a framework for collaboration," said Hopwood who co-chairs the Initiative that involves 15 local units of government. "A big part of that effort is to work across municipal boundaries to craft multi-county plans and strategies. This six-part Arcadia plan can be the tip of an iceberg for a much more extensive strategy that can run from Onekama Township through Frankfort involving a much larger partnership of organizations."
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