Environmental Commission Gives Update on Green Infrastructure Project

Environmental Commission Gives Update on Green Infrastructure Project

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Environmental Commission updated the community on its Green Infrastructure Demonstration Project.

Meridian Township Environmental Programs Coordinator, LeRoy Harvey, said the original goal of the project was to reduce flooding and green the community.

“Part of the vision was not just to demonstrate green infrastructure, but to involve the community in a positive feel good experience with green infrastructure,” said Harvey.

A tree team was put together that included community experts and volunteers on the Environmental Commission. The tree team’s goal was to be informed on proper planting and to uncover different locations for planting trees within the community.

“This summer we were able to, in partnership with Ingham Conservation District, give out 460 trees,” said Harvey.

About 40 trees were planted at Chippewa Middle School as part of the project with the help of many volunteers in the community.

“For so many people it was a way to physically get out and do something in the time of the pandemic,” said Meridian Township Board Treasurer Phil Deschaine. “We were out there and doing something about a global problem that’s hard to get your hands around, but you can get your hands around those trees.”

Deschaine said that around 50 volunteers wore masks to participate in the event and that he hopes the project expands and continues to be successful in the future.

“We’re hoping eventually to maybe be designated as a tree community,” said Harvey.

Additionally, the project hopes in 2021 to receive mini-grants designated for Haslett and Okemos Schools to support Green Infrastructure Project’s.

“We want to involve students and we want to give them some free reign for deciding what is most appropriate,” said Harvey.

Harvey said the grant money doesn’t have to be specifically for planting trees. He said other green infrastructure options such as green roofs, ponds, planter boxes and rain gardens, we’re just a few examples of different ways the money could be spent to support the project.

The commission is also working on a Green Infrastructure Audit for the Code of Ordinances.

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