WHAT WE DO
Do you love the outdoors? Do you want to live in a great neighborhood with privacy and nature nearby? We spread the word about the benefits of natural land to help safeguard the lands you love and connect current and future generations with the land. Myths, a lack of correct information, and little or no training for key decision makers are contributing factors perpetuating the needless loss of the natural areas you cherish.
This website serves as a powerful tool to educate, overcome myths, and provide actionable information to citizens and training for your local officials.
What’s currently missing in the equation for strong communities is the protection of natural lands to balance booming land development and important economic development with conservation. We CAN have great developments while preserving the great outdoors you love. The methods we promote are a win-win for citizens, developers, landowners, home builders, business owners, kids, communities, wildlife and your valuable natural resources. Please share this website with your local officials and neighbors.
We are a group of volunteers who
think know there is a better way. We have amazing moms and kids involved passionate about saving land while providing a balance between important economic development and nature. Not every piece of land is right for conservation, and not every parcel of land should be developed. We hope this website inspires you to create positive change in your community.
Karina Board was born in picturesque northern Germany where she developed a deep appreciation for nature and wildlife. Today, she lives in the quaint town of Milford, Michigan with her husband and two sons. Karina enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, volunteering at her kids’ school, hiking, biking, geocaching, and experiencing the outdoors with her family.
While she was drawn to Milford because of its rural feel and proximity to expansive park lands, she is saddened by the dramatic increase of commercial and residential development in the area. Karina believes a healthy balance between nature and developments is crucial to the well-being of communities. To this end, she is passionate about promoting the benefits of nature and open spaces. Karina holds a BA in Business Administration from Walsh College and has a background in marketing.
Laura Wolfe is a suburban-Detroit native and a lover of animals and nature. Her desire to save land was ignited when developers leveled the horse farm where she’d spent a good portion of her childhood and replaced it with condos.
Today, she can be found writing her latest novel, playing games with her highly-energetic kids, riding horses (at a different horse farm), or spoiling her rescue dog.
Laura holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University. For more information on her books, please visit: www.AuthorLauraWolfe.com
Kirt Manecke lives in Milford, MI and loves the outdoors. Kirt’s passion for land protection began after his favorite childhood woods and apple orchard was wiped out for new subdivisions. As the former executive director of a northern Michigan land trust, Kirt implemented campaigns that grew land protection by 300%.
“My friend told me that when he visits his elderly friend in West Bloomfield, MI he sees deer, coyote pups, and a large owl who lives in the forest on the 10 acres. A snapping turtle visits the pond every year. Sadly, subdivisions surround this property for miles with no forests or fields set aside for wildlife. We can do so much better. I love good development, but it’s very rare to see. I’ve traveled to other states visiting sustainable and more profitable neighborhoods that preserve land. We want to bring MUCH better land development, and better land protection, solutions to people because saving land saves money. My grandpa was a home builder so I get that side of it too. Preserving land is often less expensive for local governments and residents than subsidizing new subdivisions. Land is a finite resource. Current land development practices are frozen in time, wasteful and so unsustainable.”
For more information on Kirt’s crash course books on customer service and sales, and social skills and job skills for teens, visit www.SmiletheBook.com.
Thank you to noted planner Randall Arendt for his valuable insight and contributions to the content on this website. Considered the nation’s leading authority on conservation design, Randall is the author of “Rural by Design”, “Conservation Design for Subdivisions” and more. Owner of Greener Prospects, a consulting firm that bridges the gap between land-use planning and land conservation. Services include conservation subdivision design workshops, ordinance review and site design.
Mr. Arendt has designed “conservation subdivisions” for a wide variety of clients in 21 states. His site designs have been featured in publications of the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of Realtors.
Mr. Arendt’s designs are “twice green” because they succeed both environmentally and economically. One of his recent designs was praised by the Director of Advocacy of the Massachusetts Audubon Society as “one of the most innovative subdivision plans I’ve seen”.
DID YOU KNOW?
Doesn’t tax revenue grow when new homes and businesses are built on farmland and natural lands?
Tax revenue does grow, but costs grow even faster. The problem is that residential and business development costs more in services than it provides in tax revenue. Farmland and natural land provides more in tax revenue than it costs in services. Learn more:
Answers to the Top 10 Questions on Preserving Farmland in Kent County: A White Paper on PDR (Purchase of Development Rights) (PDF)
One More Reason to Protect Land
Photo courtesy Specialized Bicycles Facebook page