Five Woodward Ave. communities partner on sustainability planning

Five southern Oakland County communities that share Woodward Avenue as their connector are partnering on a project to research how they might work together as one to save money, share services and care for the environment, among other goals.

Berkley, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Huntington Woods are participating in the collaboration with Oakland County called the South Oakland Multi-Community Sustainability Partnership.

"I applaud these Woodward 5 communities for undertaking this partnership," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson says in a statement. "With limited economic resources at our disposal, it is more important than ever that communities find innovative ways to collaborate."

Community groups, environmental groups, businesses, social service providers, health and educational institutions will be involved in the partnership as members work to identify meaningful changes to be made by the cities as a whole.

The goal is to devise a plan to work together and leverage shared resources for a sustainable future. Sustainability refers to the ability of communities to thrive without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Oakland County Planning & Economic Development Services will provide $25,000 of in-kind services to match a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

This is the second collaboration of its kind for the county, says Bret Rasegan, planning supervisor for Oakland County.

The cities of Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, and Rochester make up the Tri-City Sustainability Partnership, which formed in January 2011 and may influence the latest partnership.

It has already identified potential changes, Rasegan says, and is working on designing ways to measure success. He says the five-city partnership became a part of the program because of its history of collaboration.

Source: Bret Rasegan, planning supervisor, Oakland County
Writer: Kim North Shine
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