Environment

Published January 25, 2017

METRO DETROIT — The urban sprawl of Detroit and its metro area is well-documented, but the natural beauty beyond the region’s Rust Belt moniker is often an afterthought.

The local ecosystem went through decades of tribulation, caused by pollution and general carelessness on a grand scale. Changes are happening, though, thanks to individuals who have worked passionately toward saving the environment before it’s too late.

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Published January 17, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Rochester-based Six Rivers Land Conservancy recently was granted a conservation easement that preserves 34 acres of habitat among homes and businesses in West Bloomfield near the intersection of Walnut Lake and Drake roads, according to a press release.

The location is one of the last privately owned, large parcels of natural habitat in the area, the release states.  

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Published January 11, 2017

GROSSE POINTE CITY/GROSSE POINTE PARK — Grosse Pointe City is hoping to improve its tree maintenance and replacement efforts by bringing an expert on board in a cost-effective way.

The City has entered into an agreement with neighboring Grosse Pointe Park to share the Park’s longtime forester, Brian Colter. The City also is assembling an Urban Forestry Commission, which City Manager Pete Dame likened to tree commissions in other communities such as Grosse Pointe Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods.

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Published January 11, 2017

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A wetlands project proposed by the U.S. Department of Natural Resources has some Harrison Township canal residents concerned about the future of Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be commencing a habitat restoration project at the mouth of the Clinton River, on the south side of the Michigan DNR’s Harley Ensign Memorial Boating Access Site, at the end of South River Road in Harrison Township.

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Published January 11, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — The Clinton River Watershed Council is looking for volunteers this month to help search for sensitive aquatic insects, an indicator of good water quality.

As part of its study on stream health, the Clinton River Watershed Council will host its annual winter stonefly search beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Clinton River Watershed Council offices, 1115. W. Avon Road in Rochester Hills.

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Published December 27, 2016

ROYAL OAK — The Detroit Zoological Society finalized plans for a new, green parking lot to help accommodate the destination’s rising attendance.

The 215-space parking lot is located off Woodward Avenue near the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, and zoo officials said it is the largest permeable pavement lot in Oakland County.

Officials said the parking lot utilizes a progressive, green design that incorporates permeable pavement, which reduces stormwater runoff and filters pollutants to improve water quality.

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Published December 21, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Hills city officials are hoping to harness the power of the sun — but they need your input first.

A Greater Farmington Area Solar Survey is underway through Sustainable Farmington Hills, a city sustainability program.

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Published December 16, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has asked Michigan’s attorney general to investigate what he has called “illegal dumping” at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights and how a construction project he said damaged an existing landfill at the site was approved.

In a letter dated Dec. 14, the mayor also asked Attorney General Bill Schuette to look into the relationship between the contractor, Dan’s Excavating, and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

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Published December 7, 2016

WARREN — On the morning of Nov. 10, students in Kathleen Heikkinen’s class at Lincoln Middle School received a special phone call that came all the way from the White House in Washington, D.C.

Christofer Nelson, Open Innovation assistant director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, called the students via speakerphone to recognize them in their efforts to collect weather data this school year. LMS is part of Van Dyke Public Schools.

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Published December 7, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Now that grant money has been secured, Grosse Pointe Woods officials are getting ready to begin a project that will examine the city’s sewer and water systems.

The city was approved to receive a $993,060 Storm, Asset Management and Wastewater grant from the Michigan Department of Treasury. City officials first applied for the SAW grant in January 2013.

“We received a letter that we got the grant Nov. 22,” City Administrator Bruce Smith said.

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Published December 7, 2016

METRO DETROIT — There’s one thing about our drinking water that most experts agree on: We really need to stop dumping questionable things into it.

But whether or not our municipal tap water is already dangerously contaminated with things like medications, cleaners and other daily use chemicals is up for debate.

If you ask Cheryl Porter, chief operating officer of the Great Lakes Water Authority, the things we flush down our toilets or push into our storm drains aren’t a health hazard yet. But it’s a good idea to get ahead of the problem now.

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Published November 30, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Continuing a process first begun when contaminated soil was found in the 10 Mile Drain system in 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency returned to St. Clair Shores this month to provide an update on the cleanup and discuss the next steps planned in the process.

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Published November 30, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — A few tasks have been added to a study to determine whether Grosse Pointe Farms should separate storm and wastewater sewers in its Inland District.

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Published November 30, 2016

DETROIT — The Earthworks Urban Farm, which is run by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen of Detroit, will be having an open house to show the community what it does, why it does it and how it helps people.

An urban farm is a farm that is located within a highly populated city. The Earthworks Urban Farm was founded in 1987 and produces fresh, locally sourced food, and much of it goes to Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen and those the kitchen helps.

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Published November 22, 2016

UTICA — On Nov. 14, volunteers and construction equipment came together to create a bioswale along Utica’s new hike and bike path and the Clinton River to catch and treat stormwater runoff from the adjacent gravel parking lot for Jimmy John’s Field.

The site was one of two demonstration locations for Macomb County’s Urban Forestry Partnership program, which is geared at increasing the tree canopy in the county and naturally reducing pollution.

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Published November 22, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A local fourth-grader recently had a chance to raise awareness about amphibians when the Detroit Zoo held an essay contest to become the new mayor of Amphibiville, a 2-acre wetland village that houses the National Amphibian Conservation Center.

A panel of judges selected the 100-word essay by Trinity Favazza, 9, of Shelby Township, in which she promised to educate her classmates at Trinity Lutheran School about amphibians, encourage neighbors to use natural fertilizer, clean up local wetlands and promote her efforts via social media.

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Published November 22, 2016

ROCHESTER — After a five-week crowdfunding campaign, Rochester College’s Lake Norcentra Park project has raised a total of $51,201, earning a matching grant through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Public Spaces Community Places program.

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Published November 2, 2016

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP —  A historic landscape plan for the Cranberry Lake Park Historic District envisions a 1940s farm restoration along with active participation items, including a community garden, room for classes and more.

“We are trying to bring it back to that time period,” historic landscape architect Brian Devlin said during an Oct. 25 presentation before the Oakland Township Board of Trustees, “but still provide uses that would interest residents and give them an opportunity to come out and enjoy the property.”

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Published November 2, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — The city will take a few more steps this fall toward making its parks as green and sustainable as possible.

How many steps? About 16 of them.

Thanks to a grant from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Keep America Beautiful park recycling bin program, the city has added 16 new recycling bins to parks around Birmingham, including the Kenning Park sports complex, Pembroke Park, St. James Park, Barnum Park and Poppleton Park. Eight of the bins were funded by the grant, and the other eight were funded by the city at a cost of $3,103.

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Published November 1, 2016

FERNDALE — A tree inventory and urban canopy assessment were presented to the City Council at its regular meeting Oct. 24.

The studies were approved by council last December. The tree inventory study was broken down into four parts that will be studied over the course of four years, with the first part  now complete. That part looked at the city’s northeastern quadrant between 10 Mile Road, Woodward Avenue, Nine Mile Road and Interstate 75.

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