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July 02, 2001 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-07-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, July 2, 2001 - Tne Michigan Daily - 7

Continued from Page £
most important environmental conferences ever to be
ld in Ann Arbor.
In preparation for the United Nations 2002 World
Summit on Sustainable Development, the University
and the City of Ann Arbor hosted more than 120 dele-
gates from cities across the United States, Canada and
Mexico for one of the largest environmental confer-
ences to ever come to Ann Arbor.
The 2002 summit, which is to be held in South Africa,
will be one of the results of the June 1992 UN Confer-
ence on Environment and Development, hosted by Rio
Janeiro. More than 170 countries produced a lengthy
lan for sustainable development, called Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 asked cities worldwide to organize grassroot
campaigns to achieve sustainable development. The
summit will report each rggion's strategies and progress
on Agenda 21.
The Ann Arbor conference was one of six preparato-
ry meetings scheduled across the world in London; Rio
de Janeiro; Hamilton, New Zealand; and Johannesburg,
South Africa.
The International Council for Local Environmental
Initiatives chose Ann Arbor to host the conference from
5 other eligible North American cities.
Ann Arbor Mayor John Heiftje said Ann Arbor
should be proud of being chosen to host the conference.

"It says a lot about the city and the advances we've
made in taking care of the environment here," Hieftje
said. "We thought it was a rousing success. There was a
lot of information that we can put away and use here.
We can set some goals."
The conference discussed climate change and water
protection, as well as some solutions to problems seen
in the Ann Arbor area.
"What we found out is that Ann Arbor is very good at
some things. We're very good at recycling, we're good
at setting aside open spaces for nature," Heiftje said.
"What was absolutely established and something we
knew already is that the greatest quality to life threat
that we face is sprawl."
Sprawl, the mayor said, contributes to the amount of
phosphorous in the area's water, one of the biggest envi-
ronmental problems the city currently faces.
Because of sprawl, there is too much water run-off
from roads, driveways and lawns, and the run-off is
pushed into water sheds before plants have had a chance
to naturally clean it and rid it of pollutants such as fertil-
izer, pesticides and pet waste.
"We are working on a plan to bring the leadership of
the surrounding townships together and work on a plan
that tries to steer development towards land where the
infrastructure exists to support it, and away from areas
that are still ina natural state," Heiftje said.
He added that besides water pollution, Ann Arbor has
also had problems with air pollution and E. coli in Gala

"We have alot of challenges in the future," he said.
Separate from the conference, which was closed to
the public, there were several events during the week,
such as Friday's Green Fair, a collaboration of area busi-
ness and environmental groups put on for the purpose
of increasing environmental awareness.
The fair closed down part of Main Street but attracted
many people who normally do not attend environmental
"We have seen a good number of people come by.
Honestly, there are some people who are going to go to .
the Arb who haven't been there before,"said April Pick-
rel, program coordinator of Nichols Arboretum. "We've
seen people who didn't know there was an arboretum."
Dana Right, a program leader at Leslie Science Cen-
ter, said the real benefit of the Green Fair was not to
advertise for the area businesses which were represented
but to reach out to the community.
"The value of people learning to not be afraid and
learning to appreciate is good for the environment in
general," she said.
An albino corn snake from the science center named
Al and a test model of an electric car that people were
allowed to drive were the main attractions of the fair,
which will most likely not be the last environmental fair
Ann Arbor will see.
"We're going to make that an annual event --it was a
huge success and very well received." Heiftie said.

Continued from Page 1
Possibilities of service implemen-
tation will be discussed at AATA's
first meeting with Wayne County air-
port officials July 17.
"We look forward to taking this
initial step toward the possible
implementation of shuttle service
between Ann Arbor and Metro Air-
port," Gregory Cook, executive
director of AATA, said in a written
Students expressed shock at Com-
muter Express' sudden announce-
ment, but they are hopeful that
AATAs efforts will benefit them.
"Most people take Commuter
Express, but I hope that AATA will
offer a better price," said LSA junior
Martin Kandes.
In the meantime, cab services are
a popular alternative.
"I get a ride in a cab and split the
cost with others. This is convenient
and it ends up being about the same
cost of Commuter Express," Kandes

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