Design Guidebook Helps Communities Enhance their Appearance & Protect Natural Resources

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2006
For More Information: Joan Chadde 906-487-3341 or

Poorly planned development can significantly impact a community’s natural and cultural resources. Communities want their economies to grow without losing what makes them attractive places to live and visit.

The 65-page guidebook Design Guidelines to Enhance Community Appearance and Protect Natural Resources describes planning considerations, tools, and best management practices to create a more visually appealing community. The guidebook features color photos that address twenty of the most common development issues including: signage, lighting, historic preservation, landscape character protection, visual corridors, pedestrian accessibility, shoreline development, storm water management, and more.

“We wanted a tool that would provide local decision-makers and citizens with a menu of options,” explains Joan Chadde, Education Program Coordinator for the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “People don’t realize they have choices. The choice is not whether to grow, but how? What kind of development? Where should you put it? What should it look like?”

The Design Guidelines guidebook may be purchased for $5 each by sending a credit card, check, or purchase order to: Joan Chadde at, fax 906-487-1620, or phone 906-487-3341. For more information, visit: . The guidebook is being disseminated at citizen planning workshops, conferences, middle/high school classes and teacher professional development. Smart Growth America selected the guidebook for inclusion on their Smart Growth Shareware CD being distributed to 10,000 communities nationwide.

“Thank you for the excellent resource. My presentation using the pictures and recommendations from the guidebook was very well received by everyone, local government officials and citizens alike. I am certainly going to recommend this guidebook to communities in both of my counties,” states a Land Policy Educator for Michigan State University Extension in southeast Michigan.

Funding for the development and publication of the guidebook was provided by The Dunn Foundation, Wege Foundation, Smart Growth Network, and Americana Foundation, along with contributions from the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, Central Lake Superior Watershed Partnership, Houghton Rotary Club, and League of Women Voters of the Copper Country.

Webpage and Ordering information:

Design Guidelines to Enhance Community Appearance and Protect Natural Resources

Special Limited Time Offer Order Form

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