Meridian Township continues efforts to improve the environment

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Cornell Woods neighborhood sign

The Meridian Township Environmental Commission met on April 5 to discuss future environmental plans for Meridian Township. One of the main discussions the board talked about were the applications for a Green Grant.

A Green Grant is a grant given to an organization to fund projects which result in clean energy or creating a sustainable environment. 

Board Member Courtney Wisinski said the four initial applications that are being considered for a Green Grant are the Cornell Woods Neighborhood Association, Okemos Presbyterian Church, Evergreen Veterinary Clinic and Radmoor Montessori School along with two additional applications recently received. 

“The Radmoor Montessori School – this will be their third application. They have already received two grants that have been used for a greenhouse and learning of small farming, barnyard demo area and signage for some of their native species,” Wisinski said.

Wisinski also pointed out that they are looking to add to that this year with additional tree plantings.

Wisinski said the  Okemos Presbyterian Church is looking to plant native species within their landscape to use for educational purposes. 

“Cornell Woods Neighborhood Association is looking to plant native trees in the common space right by Cornell elementary school,” said Wisinski.

Wisinski said that the fourth initial application that was received was from Evergreen Veterinary Clinic and they are looking to plant native plantings and build a rain garden or water absorbing materials on their property.

The two recent applications came from the Environmental Law Institute and the Meridian Garden Club.

The board is planning on discussing all of the applications further and determining which grants will be received within their $10,000 budget. 

The board also stated that it would be optimal to begin the projects over the summer months. 

“The earlier we get started with these projects the better,” board member Tom Frazier said. 

The board members are also working towards finalizing their portion of the Climate Sustainability Plan. 

Overall, the Climate Sustainability Plan was created to focus on more sustainable environment in Meridian Township such as focuses on energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling and waste reduction, transportation and waste management.

“We have been talking to kind of represent the food section and get further feedback,” board member Anna Fischer Colby said. 

Colby said that there is a full draft of the food section ready to be discussed at some point soon.

“It could be on the agenda for our next meeting,” Colby said.

Commissioner Graham Diedrich said that he has an evaluation of all local climate action plans in Michigan.

“I have been looking at water quality, solid waste, transportation and also looking at environmental justice too,” Diedrich said, “I have a coding system where I am ranking all of those municipal plans and I can demonstrate where Meridian township stacks up in a range of plans in Michigan.”

Diedrich said his plan will be finalized by the next environmental commission meeting in May.

They will continue to finalize their Climate Sustainability Plan along with deciding which Green Grants are going to be given to the variety of applicants. 

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