|Bangor Train Depot-Van Buren County|
Green infrastructure is a connected network of natural areas and other open spaces planned and managed to conserve natural ecosystems and the services they provide. These lands provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife such as maintaining clean air and water and providing areas for recreation. Often these natural areas are connected to communities by trails or greenways. Green infrastructure elements can be in urban, suburban and rural areas and may or may not be open to the public.
WHY IS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPORTANT?
1. Consumption of Natural Lands. The consumption of our natural lands for development (residential and commercial) has created disconnected communities, fragmented habitats, disruption of natural landscape processes and a degradation of our areas water and air quality. This has prompted people to take action to ensure the sustainability of natural resources in our region.
"Just as we must carefully plan for and invest in our capital infrastructure-our roads, bridges and waterlines, we must invest in our environmental or green infrastructure-our forests, wetlands, streams and rivers." Paris Glendening, Governor of Maryland.
2. Need for clean water. All people, plants and animals need water to survive. By protecting the water sources and water quality of our global, national and regional water supplies, we can ensure that people will be able to live and play on this earth for centuries.
3. Predictions for the Future. The graphics attached gives an alarming prediction of development in Michigan if it is not planned and coordinated. We not only run the risk of developing in a haphazard manner; but, we run the risk of losing our natural landscapes to asphalt, concrete and unplanned development. Michigan Land Use 1980-2040
Did You Know? Michigan has:
Over 3,200 miles of freshwater coastline - more than any other state in the country
Nearly 900 golf courses to enjoy
960,014 registered boats - more than any other state in the nation
More than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams
In Michigan, you are never more than 6 miles from a lake or stream
Stand anywhere in Michigan and you are within 85 miles of a Great Lake
1,300 designated mountain bike and bicycle trails
More lighthouses than any ocean state - 116 on the shores of the Great Lakes
97 state parks
Common Terminology - Green Infrastructure