We have exciting news to report! Today, Governor Snyder vetoed SB 964. This bill, introduced by Senator Casperson, would have amended the Highway Advertising Act of 1972 solely to benefit the outdoor advertising industry and would have provided no public benefit. The final version of the bill even stripped provisions in the Act that prevent the permitting of billboards in scenic, tree-lined corridors. Scenic Michigan first voiced opposition to this bill in May 2018 and continued to voice opposition as moved rapidly through both the Senate and House during lame duck. Despite opposition by Scenic Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Environmental Council SB 964 was approved by both the Senate and House in December. But, in the end, our calls and yours to the Governor’s office worked! We are happy to see good sense finally prevailed. Happy New Year!
Last spring, Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful partnered together in a pilot project aimed at engaging high school students on the topic community design and placemaking. The City Beautiful essay contest, open to all high school juniors and seniors in Flint and Cheboygan, asked students to think and respond to the question, “Does the appearance of your city matter?” The thoughtful responses we received demonstrated community development, historic preservation, downtown marketing, and scenic beautification efforts aren’t lost on today’s youth. Dileona Stokes and Cameron Conover, two students attending Flint Powers Catholic High School, were selected as the 2018 contest winners. The students received a cash prize of $500 from Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful, as well as recognition by the City of Flint at the June 11th Flint City Council meeting. Although the Scenic Michigan board has decided not to continue with the essay contest in 2019 due to lack of participation from the invited public schools, the project sparked the board’s interest in looking for other opportunities to continue working with Keep Michigan Beautiful and pursue other partnership-based programs across the state.
Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful are pleased to announce the launch of our City Beautiful Essay Contest. Each year, Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful plan to reach out to high school students around the state with the question “Does the appearance of your city matter?”. We want to hear your stories and insights about how community design, beautification efforts, and scenic beauty impact your quality of life and the health of your community. This year we will present two $500 awards for the best essays we receive on this topic.
This essay contest is open to any high school student who is currently a senior or junior and attending a private or public school in Flint or Cheboygan, Michigan during the 2017-2018 school year. Essays must be received by Friday, May 18th, 2018 by 5pm.
Download essay contest rules and submission guidelines by clicking here.