The Farm Market



The term "Conservation Planning" implies an understanding and protection of the natural ecosystems as the first planning step. We help property owners learn to use their land wisely and effect the shared, healthy ecosystems in a positive way using this method. The first step requires a Natural Features Inventory -soil types, watersheds, steep slopes, forests, wild life habitat. These Natural Features are then mapped using overlay districts. The placement of buildings, roads, etc. is the final step, not the first step, as in conventional site planning. The new human uses are then designed to share the land with minimal negative environmental impacts. This image shows a prime agricultural site that is preserved for its current use. A small gravel road serves the farmer instead of a large paved one. An undisturbed greenspace in the lower right of the image (above the car) serves to protect a small creek and keep habitat for wild flowers and insects.

We have used the Conservation Planning method with farm owners and Land Conservancies to add housing while keeping the farming alive.

Fruits and vegetables are grown, sold, and consumed locally. Michigan does more of this than any other state. The concept of highest and best use should be defined not in the moment (speculation) but over time in its use value.