MRN MEMBER PROFILE – Michigan Environmental Council

The Michigan Environmental Council has taken on a much broader range of initiatives since it was first formed in 1980. The MEC works to create strong alliances and leverage their expertise in the political process to ensure Michigan can experience a high quality of environmental life for generations.

With offices in Detroit and Lansing, the Council has grown from 6 initial member organizations to more than 70 today. The composition of the membership has changed as well, as they have been able to engage a large variety of organizations beyond the scope of traditional “environmental”organizations. This has broadened the horizon of the Council’s work that is not limited to public health, faith, energy, urban justice, land protection, water, and elevating environmental issues in politics.

An example of this expansive work can be seen in the Michigan Complete Streets  Coalition. In response to a passage of legislature, they have partnered with the AARP and the League of Michigan Bicyclists to ensure that planners consider all roadway users, not just motorists. This connects to many facets of a community; including health, economic development, safety and the environment, and has implications for rural communities and small towns. They have been able to create a coalition of over 100 partners of various public, private and nonprofit organizations from all over the state.

Currently the MEC is releasing a report called the “Michigan 50 Year Vision” where a vision is set out for what Michigan will look like in 2060 with sections on Water, Energy, Transportation, Sustainable Communities, Great Cities and Agriculture and Natural Resources. One important goal of the report is to get people talking about what they want to see in Michigan in 50 years and there is a large interactive section to leave comments and read what other people have wrote. Please check out the report and express your own vision for keeping and improving our high quality of life in Michigan for the next 50 years!