Phase V priorities were selected via individual votes cast by over 100 business/community participants at the Blue Meets Green Planning retreat in February, 2019. Since its inception in 2009-10, Blue Meets Green project priorities have been determined in a similar collaborative voting process for Phases I-IV.
Phase V Priorities - Established 2019
- Growing St. Clair County's Population
- Desmond Landing Development
- Regional Trails & Greenways Implementation
- Robotics Practice Field & Makerspace
- Development of a Regional Watershed Center
Growing St. Clair County's Population
According to the the U.S. Census, St. Clair County has seen a 2.3% drop in our population from 2010 to 2017. In order for St. Clair County to attract large projects, we need to increase our population. An increased population will provide more candidates to fill available jobs, assist with business expansion and attraction efforts in St. Clair County and help attract additional entrepreneurs to the region. An increased population will result in a positive long-term economic impact and increased tax base for the county and its communities.
Desmond Landing Site Development
Acheson Ventures is seeking to sell 40 acres of land on the waterfront in downtown Port Huron. The property is located in a tax saving Opportunity Zone in a prominent waterfront location in the City of Port Huron. Development of the site would not only create construction jobs, it would create permanent jobs after development; and result in significant new tax base into the region. A proposed concept plan newly created highlights numerous development options including a lifestyle center, waterfront housing, recreation and expanded waterfront access and amenities.
Regional Trails & Greenways Implementation
Numerous studies from around the county demonstrate that trails increase the value of nearby properties, boost spending at local businesses, influence business location decisions, make communities more attractive places to live and promote healthy activity. They also provide additional transportation options, and positively contribute to the overall quality of life in a community. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to complete Bridge to Bay Trail and Wadhams to Avoca trail networks, which include connecting to the Macomb Orchard Trail and Great-Lake-to-Lake Trail. A completed trail network can potentially attract new residents and tourists and connect assets in our downtowns and communities.
Robotics Practice Field & Makerspace
Currently St. Clair County robotics teams are sileod in space provide by their school or limited to space donated by a few local companies. Development of a robotics practice field, makerspace and lab would provide the teams with needed space deserving of their talents, and help our region nurture and develop a future workforce in STEM focused careers.
Development of a Regional Watershed Center
Water restoration and protection are important for our community's quality of life. St. Clair County is attractive for its sport fishing, scuba diving, duck hunting, sailing, paddling, freighter watching and St. Clair County's prestigious national water trail, the Island Loop (Michigan's first national water trail). Healthy watersheds provide many ecosystem services (water filtration, nutrient recycling, recreation, food) that are necessary for our social, health and economic well -being and provide multiple positive long-term economic impacts.