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Visionary Farming

March 26, 2009 | By Patty Cantrell
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

Over the past year, more than 3,000 people participated in Grand Vision workshops in six counties in northwest Lower Michigan. They spelled out their own ideas about where growth should and should not go and the kind of transportation options they wanted.

Then, more than 10,000 people weighed in on the four growth scenarios that The Grand Vision consultants derived from the workshops. Their “votes” will shape a growth strategy that suits most people and that local leaders will be willing to pursue.

A scientific survey conducted by the project confirmed what the workshops revealed: Most people in the region strongly favor a small-town, rural quality of life. That means there is strong support in the region for shaping growth so that it builds opportunities for local food and farming.

Inventories of northwest Lower Michigan’s local food and farm opportunities will soon help area residents decide how to implement The Grand Vision. The citizen-based project will roll out a “Final Vision” and begin implementation efforts in the late fall of 2009. See http://www.thegrandvision.org/.

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