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Natural Systems and Sustainability

16 posts in this topic

Posted

Please discuss issues and ideas revolving around these core areas:

Natural systems and sustainability; stormwater management; daylighting; resource

conservation; alternative energy potentials

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Posted

Has the city looked at any ordinances to allow small wind turbines on downtown businesses? I know that GRCF is looking at adding one, but didn't know if other building owners were? And if ordinances allow them (they should if they don't now)?

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Posted

Has the city looked at any ordinances to allow small wind turbines on downtown businesses? I know that GRCF is looking at adding one, but didn't know if other building owners were? And if ordinances allow them (they should if they don't now)?

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Posted

Wind Turbines are allowed downtown upon director review! (upto the height limit permitted in that district)

If anyone has questions regarding wind turbines or the possibilities of having one, please feel free to contact Landon Bartley (City Planner) via e-mail at [email protected]

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Posted

I'm wondering if the city has any plans for unused, undevelopable plots of land. Specifically, I'm thinking of some of the water retention sites that were built a few years ago to manage the large scale floods that occur every 100-500 years. I know some have proposed uses such as soccer fields, but to my knowledge none of these plans have gone through. The sites I know of are fenced off and mowed regularly during the summer months. Some have trees planted around the perimeter.

Here are some examples that come to mind:

Near Cottage Grove and Jefferson

3048795042_f02133c403.jpg

Near Cottage Grove and Division

3047955537_c1d9d68760.jpg

Near Plymouth and Hall

3048795122_fcc0d55a3b.jpg

I'm sure others can think of such sites near their houses. If these sites are to remain unused, I think it would be neat to turn the soil over and plant native grasses and wildflowers. Although it would take an initial investment to get things going, the sites would no longer need to be maintained. Native species are incredibly hardy and selections could be made to ensure that flooding does not destroy the prairie system. These "urban prairies" would be magnets for birds and insects and perhaps even deer, fox, and turkey if located close enough to waterways. Viewing decks could be constructed on either end giving citizens a chance to walk down the street and go birding.

Picturing something like this...

PrairieFen_lg.jpg

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Posted

I agree with you- this would be great!

I spoke with one of our project engineers who works specifically with water retention sites....

to get a better idea of what is going on with plots of land like these.

First, many of the water retention sites in Grand Rapids are on smaller, privately owned plots, as opposed to large undeveloped city owned land.

In most, if not all, recent development, Retention site owners were encouraged to use native plantings.

Looking at the sites mentioned above, the first is the Silver Creek Drain Basin, and is owned by Kent County.... rather than the city.

The second, near Plymouth and Hall appears to be privately owned.

I will try to get more info on this topic if possible!

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Posted

Thanks for looking into this!

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Posted

I recently attended the design charette for the Butterworth Landfill. I thought there were some great ideas and one of the organizers (blanking on his name at the moment) mentioned that much of the site was already planted with native prairie species. He said that the site is currently mowed once and a while to keep woody species from moving in and that controlled burns could be used in the future to maintain the prairie. Apparently there may be some changes occurring in the city ordinance regarding controlled burns. I found this short blurb on MLive. Does anyone have more information on this such as how far reaching the ordinance would be?

Thanks!

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Posted

I agree with you- this would be great!

I spoke with one of our project engineers who works specifically with water retention sites....

to get a better idea of what is going on with plots of land like these.

First, many of the water retention sites in Grand Rapids are on smaller, privately owned plots, as opposed to large undeveloped city owned land.

In most, if not all, recent development, Retention site owners were encouraged to use native plantings.

Looking at the sites mentioned above, the first is the Silver Creek Drain Basin, and is owned by Kent County.... rather than the city.

The second, near Plymouth and Hall appears to be privately owned.

I will try to get more info on this topic if possible!

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Posted

I recently attended the design charette for the Butterworth Landfill. I thought there were some great ideas and one of the organizers (blanking on his name at the moment) mentioned that much of the site was already planted with native prairie species. He said that the site is currently mowed once and a while to keep woody species from moving in and that controlled burns could be used in the future to maintain the prairie. Apparently there may be some changes occurring in the city ordinance regarding controlled burns. I found this short blurb on MLive. Does anyone have more information on this such as how far reaching the ordinance would be?

Thanks!

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Posted

I know that to date, there is still no open burning in the City of GR. There may be some talk about commercial burning..... I am looking into this more and will hopefully have more details by tomorrow!

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Posted

Green Gathering: Actions is Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at Harrison Park Elementary School from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Please park and use the Muskegon Street entrance.

Plan conecpts that capture the public's input will begin to create a vision for what an implemented plan would look like. Five special study areas, including the Grand River, Butterworth Landfill, 201 Market, Joe Taylor Park, and Ball-Perkins Park will integrate the community's ideas into a series of achievable plans. Citizens will be asked to identify partnering opportunities and funding strategies and to prioritize the City's work plan.

If you are unable to attend Green Gathering: Actions, please look for our "Actions Priorities" survey at www.greengrandrapids.ust.gif

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Posted

Parts of Allegan County have been identified as one of four regions in the state with the most potential to harvest wind energy.

As it says in the article, the state's Wind Energy Resource Zone Board will be holding hearings and issuing a final report in October.

Apparently local governments have until Aug. 4th to respond. I wonder how Allegan County feels about wind turbines on its landscape.

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Posted

I guess this should go here. A look at the new recycling stations scattered around DT (this is by Bridge St in the park near the Ford Museum).

1245787963.jpg

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Posted

The new recycling bins are fantastic! I can't wait for them to go on Monroe Center and Rosa Parks Circle.

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Posted

Green Gathering: Call to Action

Wednesday, October 21st, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, Creston High

-What we have done so far; Overview of the Green Grand Rapids process, where we are/how we got here

-Where we are going from here; What's next!

-How can you get involved; meet partners/champion groups, find out how you can help!

Green Grand Rapids Partner/Champion organizations will be joining us at Green Gathering: Call to Action to introduce their group and tell us about what they are doing and how YOU can help!

-Friends of GR Parks

-WMEAC

-WMMBA

-Fulton Street Farmers Market

-Grand River groups including GRWW

-GGRBC

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