Negaunee City Manager Nate Heffron is announcing the publication of its nearly year-long Teal Lake Shoreline Climate and Health Adaptation Vision Study. The study which began in December of 2019, stems from a grant that was made available through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Michigan Climate and Health Adaptation Program (MICHAP), MSU Extension (MSUE) and the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC).
These organizations have been partnered since 2017 to advance climate and health adaptation in Marquette County. The MACH A2 Grant builds on more than a decade of success of the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative (SBEI) offered through Michigan State University (MSU) and provides communities with physical design assistance in climate and health adaptation.
Under this cooperation, the Marquette Area Climate & Health Adaptation Action (MACH A2) Grant was made available as a pilot grant project designed to assist Marquette County communities address health-related climate concerns.
Objectives of this grant include: (1) Work with communities to develop adaptation planning and design ideas for local climate and health issues and opportunities; (2) Build consensus and generate ideas to address challenging climate and health concerns for specific areas; (3) Act as a bridge between communities and consulting planning and design professionals; and (4) Provide in-community student learning, and serve as a creative and scholarly outreach and engagement work endeavor involving campus faculty and field Extension educators.
The City of Negaunee was selected for the MACH A2 Grant Project to develop a climate and health adaptation vision for the Teal Lake shoreline. The goal of the project was to enhance the Teal Lake shoreline by creating and sustaining an inviting space for all residents and visitors of the City of Negaunee to utilize. The project focuses on non-motorized recreation, restoration, remediation, and resiliency through a climate and health adaptation framework.
The project aimed to: (1) Create areas to prevent run off and allow Teal Lake to maintain its natural qualities; (2) Engage the community in environmentally friendly built environment design practices; (3) Strengthen the connection between the community and the Teal Lake shore; (4) Utilize design practices that increase shoreline accessibility for all individuals into the future; and (5) Maintain the lake’s silent nature by reserving it for non-motorized recreation.
Three-public input sessions were held, where four themes were developed to concentrate on. Theme #1: Placemaking – to enhance the sense of place along the shoreline and provide the community gathering and event spaces; Theme #2: Connectivity – to improve the overall connectivity between people and places; Theme #3: Accessibility and Recreation – to enhance the accessibility and utility of the area; Theme #4: Beautification – to enhance the visual quality and appeal of the area.
Seven-suggested areas to apply these themes to were generated from this study, these include: Site One-the water works building; Site Two-the waterworks parking lot/greenspace; Site Three- Croix Street Overlook (School parking lot between Lakeview Street and Birch St.); Site Four-Lakeview Elementary parking-lot; Site Five- Croix and Birch Streets; Site Six-Teal Lake Beach; and Site Seven-Croix Street.
Suggested projects associated with these sites include beach improvements, safety improvements for pedestrians, and a re-visioning of the water works building; as well as, new services such as; a splash-pad, restrooms, shower-stations, pavilions, and playground area, among other (please see full report for further details on our website cityofnegaunee.com). Each project suggested, is still only an idea, much will depend on further investigation, engineering studies, funding, community support, and council approval.
The report was also reviewed by a steering committee made up of the City Manager; Planning and Zoning Administrator, David Nelson; Negaunee Schools Superintendent, Dan Skewis; and Negaunee residents, Dave Dompierre and Jon Becker.
“I want to thank all of our city staff, residents, and partners associated with this project for all of their hard work and dedication in bringing new and exciting opportunities to the Teal Lake shoreline. Now is the time to look how we can apply these ideas to provide better access to Teal Lake, while respecting the environment, and maintaining our community character”, Heffron Said.
According to Heffron, several projects are being looked at and more information will be forthcoming in the proceeding months. “We are looking at funding, need, and feasibility at this time, but the intention is to begin as soon as possible”, Heffron Said.
For more information, contact Nate Heffron, Negaunee City Manager, at 906-475-7700, Ext. 11. A full review of the Teal Lake Shoreline Climate and Health Adaptation Vision Study can be viewed HERE.