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Michigan's Economic Future

"Half a century ago, the world was knocking on Michigan's door. But yesterday is gone, and it is not coming back," Ballard says. "If the people of Michigan are to achieve a brighter economic future, we will need to develop new ways of thinking, and new ways of engaging with the rapidly changing global economy."

Dr. Charles L. Ballard
Professor of Economics, MSU

Dr. Ballard will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Citizen Planner 2008 Advanced Academy. For more on this event, slated for next week at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the campus of MSU in East Lansing, visit 2008 Advanced Academy.

Funded by LPI
Hear the Latest Michigan Now Reports:

Mother and Daughter Community Gardeners
The community gardening movement is growing around the country and in the state. People get tastier and healthier food, they save gas and they get to know their neighbors...sometimes even farmers. Michigan Now's Chris McCarus visited a mother and daughter in Grand Rapids. Their kind of gardening is passed on through generations.

Listen in at (click on "Story Archives"). Michigan Now is supported by the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan and People and Land.



Crain's Detroit Business
Poll: Michigan Residents Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy
June 10, 2008

A poll commissioned by a coalition supporting pending energy legislation finds Michigan residents willing to pay more on their electric bills for renewable energy and new power plants, although most people generally spend little time thinking about their energy costs. The poll of registered voters, by Alexandria, Virginia.-based TargetPoint Consulting Inc., found people were most concerned about improving Michigan's economy and creating jobs and put little priority on state government addressing affordable and reliable energy. Read more at Renewable Energy Poll.
Corporate Green Teams: Sustainable Business from the Bottom Up
June 8, 2008

With sky high gas prices and a growing sense of belief that global warming may be a real and imminent threat, many individuals are starting to ask themselves, "What can I do about this now?" This rhetorical question often inspires people to change personal habits, such as taking public transportation, getting a hybrid car or bringing their own grocery bags to the store. But this is a question that people are increasingly taking from their personal lives into their working lives. Check out Green Teams for the rest of the story.

Lansing Area Capital Gains
Two Grand Ledge Schools Get Green Designation
June 11, 2008

The state recently gave two Grand Ledge Schools the Michigan Green School designation. A school can apply for Michigan Green School status if it completes at least 10 of 25 activities said to reduce the school's carbon footprint.

St. Michael Parish School was the first school in Eaton County to receive the designation and is one of only three Green Schools in the Tri-County area. More than 200 schools in the state have the Green School designation. Hayes Middle School in Grand Ledge also got the Green School award after the school's "Green Team" recycled more than 9,000 plastic water bottles, thousands of dead batteries and CDs, participated in Greener Delta and raised money to adopt several endangered species. Read more at Green Schools.

The Grand Rapids Press
Dune, Marshland Saved
June 10, 2008

More than 70 acres of dune and marsh land in the Tallmadge Woods property along the Kalamazoo River will be preserved, following approval by the Saugatuck City Council on Monday to a conservation easement with the Grand Rapids-based Land Conservancy Agency. The agreement already has been approved by the Ox-Bow School of Art, which owns an interest in the property and has its campus there. In signing the easement, the city and Ox-Bow relinquish development rights, and the conservancy agency essentially has authority over the land.



Mass Transit to be Highlighted at Upcoming United Growth for Kent County Coalition Meeting

On Tuesday, June 17, 2008, the United Growth for Kent County Coalition meeting will feature the Streetcar and Bus Rapid Transit projects in Grand Rapids, presented by representatives of The Rapid, the nationally recognized public transportation system in Grand Rapids. The meeting, which will begin at 8:30am at Kent/MSU Extension office in Grand Rapids, is open to the public and no RSVPs are required. The Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Land Preservation Education Committees will meet afterward from 9:30am - 10:30am. Some believe that the Bus Rapid Transit project is integral to the advancement of mass transit in Michigan, as reflected in the following article:

Great Lakes Bulletin News Service
Grand Rapids: Gateway to Michigan's Transit Success

June 11, 2008

Lansing Area Capital Gains
Lansing Cooks with Local-Source Food Fans
June 11, 2008

The apples for some pies travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles before being sliced, spiced and baked into a pie. The rhubarb for Lansing City Market fan Diane Thompson's fruit compote didn't travel more than a few miles. With her close connections to the City Market, Thompson knows all about fresh and how to get it. She's also tied to a movement that promises to transform the way we eat, and how food gets to our table.

"We're a group that's passionate about local foods, supporting local farmers, and keeping our dollars in Lansing," says Thompson, chair of the Friends of the City Market and member of the Lansing Localvores. "The way you eat can actually be a tool for improving our economy right here in Michigan." See Local-Source Food for the complete story.



Ecosystem Conference Call for Proposals

ACES 2008, a conference on ecosystem services, will be held December 8-11, 2008, in Naples, Florida, and will bring together government, non-government organizations, academia, and tribal and private-sector leaders to advance the use of ecosystem services and related science in conservation, restoration resource management and development decisions. As part of this conference, titled "Using Science for Decision Making in Dynamic Systems" proposals will be accepted in the areas of abstracts (deadline August 15, 2008) and workshops (deadline July 11, 2008). To learn more, visit ACES 2008.

Conference on Biodiversity Call for Proposals

The deadline is quickly approaching for session proposals for the National Council for Science and the Environment's (NCSE) 9th National Conference for Science, Policy and the Environment, titled "Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World." The conference will take place on December 8-10, 2008, in Washington, DC. Proposals for breakout sessions, symposia and workshops will be accepted until Monday, June 16, 2008. More information on the conference, including the proposal form and information about becoming a sponsor or collaborating organization, can be found online at Conference on Biodiversity, or contact Nicole Buell at



The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) in Grand Rapids has openings for the following full- and half-time positions. The deadline for submission of an application is Monday, June 16, 2008.

  • Water Quality Programs Coordinator
    WMEAC's water quality programs coordinator, a full-time position, will design, coordinate and implement education, protection, restoration and advocacy activities in West Michigan's watersheds.
  • Sustainable Business Programs Coordinator
    This half-time position, a joint appointment with WMEAC and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (WMSBF), will work with the WMSBF to implement the strategic goals of the organization. In a highly collaborative atmosphere, the sustainable business program coordinator will engage business leaders in action to deliver innovative, triple-bottom-line practices to the business community in West Michigan.
  • Energy Programs Coordinator
    The energy programs coordinator, a half-time position, will design and implement a series of programs designed to educate and inspire West Michigan's citizens into action to conserve energy.

Click on Michigan Land Use Job Opportunities for details on these and other jobs.


Calendar of Upcoming Events
LPI Events Hightlighted in Red.

United Growth for Kent County Coalition Meeting
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
MSUE Kent County Office, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Small Wind Power Conference
Tuesday, June 17-Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Holiday Inn & Convention Center, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

LPI Citizen Planner Event:
2008 Citizen Planner Advanced Academy

Wednesday, June 18-Thursday, June 19, 2008
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, Campus of MSU, East Lansing, Michigan

United Growth for Kent County Event:
Ridge Community Breakfast
Friday, June 20, 2008
County Basket Farm Market, Sparta, Michigan

United Growth for Kent County Event:
GrandWalk Bus Tour

Friday, June 27, 2008
Grand Rapids and Walker Area, Michigan

2008 Michigan Energy Fair
Friday, June 27-Sunday, June 29, 2008
Manistee County Fairgrounds, Onekama, Michigan

For a complete list of events with details, go to LPI Events Calendar.


Funding Opportunities This Week

Here are select grant funding opportunities for this week. LPI urges faculty interested in applying for grants to contact LPI's John Warbach at for support and assistance in teambuilding, grant proposal development, and grants and contracts processing, if needed.

Organic Farming and Food Systems
Deadline: July 15, 2008
Sponsor: Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
Description: Funds are available for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to the greater agricultural community.
Research Focus Area: Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and take place on working organic farms or ranches whenever possible. Additionally, proposals should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems.

P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability
Deadline: December 20, 2008
Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Description: The P3 competition is accepting applications proposing to research, develop and design solutions to real world challenges involving sustainability. The P3 competition highlights people, prosperity and the planet-the three pillars of sustainability. The P3 Awards program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet and improved quality of life for its people. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the developed and developing world while moving towards the goal of sustainability.

See all other posted grant opportunities at 2007 Grants.


"This Week at the Land Policy Institute..." is sent to internal and external land use stakeholders, faculty members, and others every Friday through our lpi-news listserv. If you would like to provide feedback on any of its content, or send content for inclusion, please email Catharine Hansford at MSU's Land Policy Institute is located at 3rd Floor Manly Miles Bldg, 1405 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48823. This e-newsletter is intended to be an informational tool. Submissions of presentations, publications, awards, and news regarding activities related to land use for publication can be sent at any time. Information must be forwarded by Wednesday of each week for inclusion in that week's e-newsletter.

Please check back soon, as this page is updated weekly.

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