With summer upon us (to some degree), LIAA staff was able to get out on the water and participate in the Blueways of St. Clair Summer Paddle Series. The paddle series features group paddles (with local citizens) in six unique water trails/communities in St. Clair County. Each paddle includes interpretive discussions with a local historian and naturalist. Each paddle concludes with a dinner at a local restaurant. The pilot paddle series is part of a larger marketing and promotion program that LIAA helped develop in partnership with St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission to promote the Blueways of St. Clair system of water trails and the Trail Town communities that support them. The paddler series, as well as the development of a paddling guidebook and strategic plan for the Blueways are part of a larger planning effort that was supported by a generous grant from Michigan’s Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program.
There’s nothing quite like a fresh-picked Michigan strawberry. Starting in 2018, LIAA has helped the Michigan Agritourism Association promote their member’s U-Pick fruits on their website, www.michiganfarmfun.org. Built on LIAA’s Community Center content management platform using the Asset Mapping extensions, michiganfarmfun.org features a vast amount of information about Michigan farms that welcome guests to meet the farmers, acquire their produce, and try their value-added products. In 2019, at the request of the Association, LIAA made some changes to the search tools on the site to ensure users find what they’re looking for. Specifically, we updated the search synonym feature to include phrases and not just single words. So, whether you’re looking for U-Pick Strawberries or You Pick Strawberries, you get a list of farms that are sure to give you that fresh-picked experience.
LIAA is pleased to announce its newest addition to the LIAA team, Zach Vega. Zach will work to support LIAA’s wide spectrum of resilience and community development programs. Zach is certified by the National Charrette Institute (NCI) and by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Zach comes to LIAA with a B.A. in Political Science from Saginaw Valley State University and a recent Master’s in Urban & Region Planning from Michigan State University.