Longtime environmentalist and business roundtable member honored with Heritage Partner Award

A Commerce Township man was honored with the 2014 Heritage Partner Award by the Planning Division of the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

Jim Meenahan was honored for his contributions to preserving Oakland County’s natural and built heritage. The award was presented last week during the 17th annual Heritage Conference, which was held at Addison Oaks County Park in Addison Township.

“Jim is a steady, hardworking contributor, perfectly willing to stay behind the scenes,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I’m glad we honored him with this award.”

Meenahan, who has a degree in chemical engineering, has been a member of the Oakland County Business Roundtable Quality of Life Committee since 2001, is an advocate for historic preservation, Main Street Oakland County and the Trail, Water and Land Alliance.

He was a founding member of a citizens group, “Save Our State Land,” which campaigned to save 550 acres of the Proud Lake State Recreation Area that were to be removed from public ownership as part of the state’s land consolidation strategy. The site was ultimately purchased by Commerce Township, which is working on a master plan for a new park. Meenahan said he was proud to receive the award, which was presented by Bret Rasegan, who heads up the planning division for the county.

“Community redevelopment has been of extraordinary interest to me and it’s exciting to see the results of visionary people who have the persistence to drag communities kicking and screaming to a new place,” Meenahan said. “It’s not the work of wimps.”