Michigan Land Use Institute

Food & Farming / News & Views / Introducing MLUI Intern Zoe McAlear

Introducing MLUI Intern Zoe McAlear

Haverford student will work on MLUI communications

MLUI News | May 30, 2013 | By Zoe McAlear

Recent Posts

Master Gardener Scholarship Application Deadline Aug 6th

Gardening | July 25, 2014

We’re two weeks away from the deadline to apply for a scholarship for the Fall 2014 Master Gardener Training Program. Applications must be received by August 6th. Follow this link to download the application.*...

Pick of the Week: Zucchini

Fresh to TC | July 25, 2014 | By Rebecca Fisher

One of the things that struck me about northern Michigan is the high quality of life. Part of that characteristic is the access to fresh and high quality produce. I have immensely enjoyed the opportunity to go the farmers market and to get to cook my own food....

Ag Forum: Too many accolades — no way!

Local food | July 24, 2014 | By Bill Palladino

If you’re anything like I used to be, your eyes roll every time you hear of yet another “best of” accolade for the Grand Traverse region. I’ve long been a bit cynical about community self-aggrandizement. But last week, while taking a trip to the East Coast with my wife and kid, my cranky world-view received a great big blow. So now I must say, “Mea culpa, Traverse City!”...

Editor’s Note: We are happy to introduce our new summer intern, Zoë McAlear! She’ll be helping out in our communications department, so you’ll be seeing her name pop up often over the next two months. Rather than let us tell you about her, here’s a brief introduction in her own words. Welcome Zoë!

Zoë McAlear is a rising sophomore at Haverford College outside of Philadelphia.

My name is Zoë McAlear and I’m a rising sophomore at Haverford College outside of Philadelphia. I’ll be working with MLUI for the next 11 weeks, and I can’t wait to learn more about this organization and Traverse City through various research and writing projects.  

MLUI presents the ideal blend of environmental ideas and a connection to community development that I hope to pursue in the future. At Haverford I have plans to major in Growth and Structure of Cities with a minor in Environmental Studies. This combination appeals to me because both programs are interdisciplinary and allow me to pursue many interests that I’ve developed over the past few years.

 I’ve spent the past nine years living in Ithaca, a college town in upstate New York that resembles Traverse City and the surrounding area in many ways. Both sit on beautiful lakeshores with a central downtown area that is the focus of the city, and have the benefit of surrounding populations who contribute to the community and the local economy.

My interest in urban development and its connection to the environment stems from living in Ithaca and watching it change over the past decade. I’ve seen the importance of a thriving downtown that supports local businesses, and a strong local economy that supports the surrounding farms. MLUI’s programs concerning local foods, clean energy, and a focus on strong, centralized communities, connect directly back to the issues that I’ve watched my hometown struggle with as they try to develop viable solutions.

Living in Ithaca has allowed me to really connect to where I’m living and develop a deep interest in seeing my community succeed. I’ve been particularly interested in the local foods economy because my family has always been deeply invested in making choices about our food that are health-conscious, environmentally sustainable, and supportive of small farms in our community. Since living in Ithaca, we’ve grown a backyard garden, joined our local co-op, participated in vegetable, raw milk, and meat CSAs, and constantly supported our weekly farmer’s market. I’ve learned the importance of making careful choices about where my food comes from, and I can’t wait to learn more about the particular programs that MLUI has instated to develop a thriving local foods economy.

In addition to local foods, I’ve watched other battles take place in Ithaca that have to do with the expansion of public transportation and bike-friendly programs, supporting local businesses in order to help them survive downtown, and energy debates—particularly with the attempt to spread hydrofracturing processes into the area in order to extract natural gas. Many of these questions and attempts at solutions parallel issues in Traverse City that are being explored by the Michigan Land Use Institute.

My biggest hope for my time at MLUI? I want to develop a relationship with the Traverse City community so that I can leave here at the end of the summer feeling the type of connection and dedication that I do with my own hometown.

Zoë can be reached at zoe@mlui.org

No Comments

By submitting this comment you agree to our commenting policy.
Name:
Comment:
*Comments are limited to 1000 characters.

Search Archives

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org