----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 11:49 AM
Subject: Lansing Area Parks Need Your Help!!
Dear Mid-Michigan citizen,
As you may have
heard, Lansing residents will be voting on a Parks Millage Renewal on August
2nd-- and we need your help to make sure the millage IS RENEWED. (It is not a
NEW tax-- it has been in place since 1990.)
While only Lansing residents
can vote on the millage renewal, people from all of the tri-county region can
help encourage Lansing residents to vote YES. Residents from all muncipalities
benefit from the projects the millage funds. In particular, the River Trail,
Ranney Park, Potter Park and Zoo, and The Garden Project.
Here are some
ways you can help, whether you live in the city or not:
to hand out leaflets in Lansing neighborhoods. We have a list of
neighborhoods that we think will most strongly impact the renewal vote. We have
only 17 days until voting day, and we have thousands of households that need to
understand why it is so important to renew the millage. You can leaflet any time
of day that is good for you.
If you would like to volunteer to hand out
leaflets, please contact me ASAP and I will match you with a neighborhood and
get leaflets to you.
2. Volunteer to staff an informational table on
the Lansing River Trail, near the Rails to Trails Office (just south of the
Kalamazoo St. Bridge), from 11:30am - 1:30pm on one or more of these
- Friday, July 15
- Monday, July 18
- Friday, July 22
Monday, July 25
- Friday, July 29
- Monday, August 1
Rails to Trails and League of Michigan Bicyclists are covering the T,W,Th days
of each of those weeks.)
3. Forward this email to friends and
coworkers and tell them to visit www.midmeac.org/parks to learn about why
the millage is so important.
4. Get your kids who are on summer break
to hand out leaflets if they are bored.
5. Put up a yard sign on Voting
YES - let me know if you would like a sign and we will get you
6. Use your imagination! Help us think of other ways we
can reach Lansing residents to urge them to vote YES for renewing the Parks
Millage. You could set up table at your local grocery store or other public area
with handouts and yard signs. Go to your neighborhood association meeting with
handouts and yard signs. Sure, some people may disagree with you--- but lots of
people still don't know how they will vote, because they don't understand how
much the city benefits from the millage. Send me your creative ideas and I'll
help you get set
FIVE REASONS TO VOTE "YES" FOR PARKS MILLAGE RENEWAL ON AUGUST 2:
PARK MILLAGE FUNDS BRING STATE AND FEDERAL DOLLARS INTO LANSING: Over the
past five years, the parks millage has pulled in $3.6 million in state and
federal funds for parks projects. The Parks Department estimates a total of
$13.5 million in grant-eligible projects over the next five years; the city
would contribute $4.4 million while grants would cover the remaining $9.1
Just recently, Lansing was awarded a $100,000 "Cool Cities"
grant to dramatically improve Hunter Park by adding a perimeter walking path and
building a greenhouse (or “hoop house”) for year-round gardening. Access to
fresh, local food is a challenge in the East-side and downtown areas. The parks
millage help to address this challenge by providing matching funds for this
project. (The millage also provides support for improvements at the Garden
Project, which helps community gardens.)
2. PARK MILLAGE FUNDS ARE
ESSENTIAL TO EXTENDING AND ENHANCING THE LANSING RIVER TRAIL. The River
Trail is one of the most unique and well-used features that Lansing can boast
when it comes to attracting new people to city and bringing in visitors (who are
also ikely to stop at local shops, restaurants, or the zoo while they are in the
city). Trail transit and recreation give us a fun and relaxing way to exercise
and get around. The trail also allows us to reduce our automobile use, which
helps the environment and saves us money on gas and other car
The River Trail continues to be one of the Parks Department’s
top priorities. If the millage passes, the city would spend slightly more than
$1.7 million to extend the trail, and would raise additional federal funds.
Trail extension and connections are things that people in the area--including
Mid-MEAC members--- have been asking for for years. The extension would provide
for connections to other trails and natural areas.
3. OVER THE NEXT 5
YEARS, THE PARKS MILLAGE WILL PROVIDE APPROX. $11 MILLION TO IMPROVE AND
MAINTAIN THE FOLLOWING:
- Southside Community Center
- The Garden Project warehouse
- Parks: Hunter, Quentin,
Ranney, Frances, Moore, Georgetown, Ormond, Bassett, St. Joseph, Foster,
Baker-Donora and Comstock, St. Joseph, Elmhurst, Wainright, Averill, Kingsley,
Gier, Clifford, Dunnebacke, Tecumseh, Wilson, Riverfront, Horsebrook, Bancroft,
Davis, Pleasant View, Everett, and Forest Views
- Potter Park
Projects include renovations, maintenance, football facilities, new
animal exhibits, sports fields and court renovations, and more.
the millage these projects will suffer, or it will be up to citizen groups to
raise money themselves, putting the burden only on those who choose to give and
not all those who reside in the city. Let's distribute the costs evenly to
residents and all pitch in to provide support through the millage.
PARKS AND TRAILS ARE ESSENTIAL TO IMPROVING LANSING'S BUDGET PROBLEMS.
Lansing must attract new residents and businesses to the area if it is going to
improve the budget-- and that means offering people amenities. There is a wave
of new development taking place in and around downtown Lansing: East Village
project on the old BTS side, Printer's Row Condo's in the Cherry Hill
Neighborhood on Grand, Prudden Place Lofts on Saginaw, and Arbaugh Lofts on
Kalamazoo. If home-buyers and loft-renters must feel that Lansing has AMENITIES
to offer-- like parks and trails-- if they are going to locate in the
In a recent Lansing Business Review article, the CEO of Freescale
Semiconductor remarked on the company's choice of Austin, Texas for its global
headquarters: "Austin is a high-tech city with an attractive quality of life… It
is an appealing environment for the innovators we need." Its chamber of commerce
touts Austin, TX as having "a lush environment highlighted by parks, lakes, and
trails". 208 parks and 74 miles of hike and bike trails, to be exact. People
want to live where they can work AND play.
Help create worthwhile
AMENITIES in the City of Lansing by voting YES.
5. PARKS AND TRAILS
ARE ESSENTIAL TO IMPROVING INGHAM COUNTY'S PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. According
to a 2004 Ingham County Health Department report, about 62% of Ingham County
adults do not engage in moderate physical activity at least 3 times a week.
About 58% of Ingham residents are overweight, and
20% are obese. These
health problems put an enormous strain on our public health resources, and costs
our local employers in sick-days an ever rising insurance premiums. We need
healthy people to have a healthy economy-- and the parks millage provides
opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating.
The River Trail,
Ranney Skate Park and neighborhood playgrounds give people the opportunity to
get out and MOVE and ENJOY NATURE, regardless of their income, age, race,
gender, or anything else. These facilities are some of the few "equal
opportunity" options for physical activity and enjoying nature. Connecting with
our natural surroundings can be a better cure for depression, anxiety, and
attention problems than most drugs-- for kids and adults alike. (For more on
this, check out "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Kids from Nature Deficit
Disorder" by Richard Louv.) Physical activity and connection with nature are
essential to emotional and physical health. River Trail and park enhancements
will make these opportunities accessible to more and more people who desperately
Further, the millage helps bring local, fresh, nutritious food
to Ingham County residents through programs like The Garden Project and the new
greenhouses for Hunter Park. The Garden Project provides supplies and assistance
for 20 community gardens and over 500 families, with the vast majority of these
in the City of Lansing. The millage would fund warehouse renovations for the
Garden Project. The warehouse currently lacks restroom facilties, and is used by
hundreds of people who go there for seeds, plant starters, equipment, and other
ARE JUST FIVE REASONS TO VOTE YES-- THERE ARE MANY OTHERS, WHICH WE WILL BE
POSTING TO THE MIDMEAC WEBSITE AT WWW.MIDMEAC.ORG/PARKS.
It's about our
It's about our physical and mental health.
It's about the
It's about providing support for some of the few things that
make Lansing just a little bit cool.
Lansing has a long way to go-- and
it's just going to be even harder to revitalize this city without the
We hope you will join us in this effort to RENEW Lansing's Park
P.O. Box 17164