Networks Northwest

The Lakes to Land Regional Initiative is a unique joint planning effort spanning Benzie and Manistee counties. The townships of Arcadia, Blaine, Crystal Lake, Gilmore, Bear Lake, Joyfield, and Pleasanton, along with the Onekama Community and the City of Frankfort, seek to bring voices from throughout the region together to articulate a vision for the region’s future. This process will result in a series of master plans which include a detailed assessment of the community, coming to consensus on a shared vision, and translating this vision into policy and action statements.

The communities will then collaborate on a clear set of strategies for achieving that vision, erasing municipal boundaries to view the region as a whole. Such opportunities for collaboration might include:

- Facilitating partnership and consistency
- Identifying and sharing resources
- Capitalizing on existing assets and opportunities to achieve economies of scale
- Protecting geographic features that cross municipal boundaries
- Providing a documented, justified basis for funding requests
- Understanding how sustainability plays a role in maintaining a high quality of life for current and future generations

The project has been selected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help pilot its own approach to placemaking. More information on the Lakes to Land Regional Initiative can be found at