Oakland County’s Trails, Water and Lands Alliance kicks off 2014 quarterly meetings

Representatives from local, county and state governments along with private companies interested in conservation met yesterday to discuss ways to work more effectively to preserve and enhance Oakland County’s trails, water and natural areas.
The representatives are members of the 2014 Trails, Water and Lands Alliance (TWLA), which meets quarterly to share information, discuss grant opportunities and other funding sources. The group of about 50 people represents businesses, municipalities, area non-profit agencies, civic organizations, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Road Commission for Oakland County. The meeting at the Executive Office Building was hosted by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, which formed the alliance in 2012.
Kathleen Klein, community relations representative from Waste Management of Michigan, was chosen as chairwoman for 2014.
“How we manage our trails, water, and land is an important part of my quality of life initiatives within Oakland County,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said.  “I encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors and appreciate volunteers like Kathleen Klein offering their time and expertise.”
The meeting included presentations by Chris Bunch, executive director, Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy, on SEMIWILD – a cooperative effort among local land conservancies to preserve land in Southeast Michigan; Mark Angelini, co-founder and lead designer, and Trevor Newman, co-founder and project manager, Roots to Fruits, on edible and ecological landscapes; and Oakland County economic development staff – providing alliance updates and information on grants.
The next meetings are April 17 and July 17 with the TWLA Fall Celebration on Oct. 2. The meeting locations will be announced later.