West Michigan bluffs

The Lakes to Land Regional Initiative is a unique joint planning effort among the northwestern Michigan townships of Arcadia, Blaine, Crystal Lake, Gilmore, Bear Lake, Joyfield, Lake, Manistee, Onekama, and Pleasanton; the Villages of Honor, Onekama, Bear Lake, and Elberta; the Cities of Frankfort and Manistee; and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indian tribe. It seeks to bring voices from throughout the region into an articulation of a vision for the region’s future. This process resulted in a series of nine master plans, adopted in 2014-2015, which include a detailed assessment of the community, coming to consensus on a shared vision, and translating this vision into policy and action statements. Each of these plans is available on this site, either via the individual Community page on the bottom menu bar or on the Library page on the top menu bar.

The communities have now begun collaborating on a clear set of strategies for achieving that vision, erasing municipal boundaries to view the region as a whole. Two zoning templates have been written to address common regional themes. A Food and Farm System Assessment was undertaken to provide a comprehensive understanding of the substantial agricultural outputs of the region. The Arcadia-Pierport Watershed Committee has formed to protect the water quality that emerged as a priority in nearly all of the Visioning Sessions. Each of these efforts grew from a wider understanding of the common challenges and opportunities experienced by participating communities, and has been fueled and supported by the relationships developed over the course of over two years of intense planning work. More information about each of these efforts is available through the tabs on the top menu bar.

The Lakes to Land process has been a grass-roots, bottom-up effort conducted by the hardworking citizens dedicated to serving and preserving this majestic region. We are reachable via the “Contact Us” link, and we would love for you to join us!