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New Grand Vision Website Connects Communities to Resources, Projects, Vision

Media Release
For Immediate Release
August 18, 2011
Contact: Carrie Bourdages
Communications Specialist
Voice: 231-929-5038

New Grand Vision Website Connects
Communities to Resources, Projects, Vision

Northwest Michigan— The Grand Vision’s many collaborative partners announce a re-designed website that offers clarity on Grand Vision principles and promotes the activities and projects happening throughout the region. includes new features, such as a Grand Vision network-wide calendar, accessible as a download onto the most widely-used electronic calendars in order to synchronize the dates on it within users’ personal calendars.

“We’ve heard the cries for help with community members and network conveners alike, wanting one place where all meetings and events can be posted for all to see,” said Marsha Smith, chair of the CORE coordinating team. “And we’ve delivered it.”

Most important for area organizations is a resource page on the website that includes a wide variety of funding opportunities that could help with project implementation. The Grand Vision Resource Committee invested in subscriptions to robust funding locator services to compile these reports. Opportunities are updated each month and are now easily accessible in one location.

"These resources alone make checking the website on a regular basis a good idea as the opportunities come from a very broad range of sources. Our committee leveraged our investment in the subscription services to benefit the region," said Debbie McKeon, director of NorthSky Nonprofit Network. "We're very excited to bring this information to the greater public through the Grand Vision website."

In addition, issue area leaders each have their own sections of the site for community members’ ease-of-use to get the latest updates on what is happening within each of those issue areas: Transportation, Food and Farming, Growth & Investment, Natural Resources, Housing and Energy.

Also on the site is a link for all community members to upload the photos and video in their own communities, as the understanding of The Grand Vision being available for all residents of northwest lower Michigan grows.

“We want to see what projects The Grand Vision is inspiring in your towns and neighborhoods,” Smith said.

Standard features of the site include the latest news, press releases, issue-area videos, a timeline and overview of The Grand Vision and a plethora of photos from across the six counties of The Grand Vision.

For more information, contact Carrie Bourdages at 231-929-5038, via email at or visit the website:

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The Grand Vision is an ambitious, citizen-led effort to plan the future of the six-county Grand Traverse region. More than 13,000 citizens spoke up, got involved, and actually "voted" to select a specific vision, one that prioritizes 1) density focused in the cities of Traverse City and Cadillac; 2) smaller, walkable/bikeable communities connected by regional transit, and 3) preservation of the rural landscape for agriculture, rural living, or conservation. Over the course of three years, a series of public workshops, unparalleled collaboration between government, non-profits and the private sector, the Grand Vision took shape. The Vision is now being implemented, as six counties, six issue area networks, and a steering committee work to incorporate the Grand Vision principles into plans, developments, investments, and practices.

The Grand Vision originated when a proposed bridge/bypass around downtown Traverse City was approved and funded. Following a public debate about the proposal, the Hartman-Hammond Bridge concept was tabled, with those funds re-appropriated by Congress to be used for a long-term planning process. Several public and private organizations stepped forward to fund and lead the process, one that eventually expanded to include a wide, six-county area.

Today the Grand Vision is being realized. Governmental bodies are collaborating, business leaders are seeing the benefits of a focused vision for the future, and several diverse interests are coming together within issue networks that include Food & Farming, Energy, Growth & Investment, Affordable Housing, Natural Resources and Transportation.

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