One of the most difficult challenges in our work is a lack of information. After we were permitted to resume operations in the field, but well before it was safe to gather groups of volunteers, we set out to change that. We decided to make productive use of our "down" time to develop a comprehensive land use inventory tool, with Saginaw as our first subject.
Funded by our donors and our own in-kind work as a staff, we visited each and every property in Saginaw. Now, we have a pilot tool that will allow us to develop searches for particular conditions, especially on vacant land, to help us determine where our service would be the most valuable. It will also provide powerful tools to our municipal partners for finding the best opportunities for economic development, where the worst problems exist for blight, and to better understand the residential landscape of the community. We are proud to present the SBLC Neighborhood Inventory Tool!
We eventually hope to expand our Neighborhood Inventory Tool to cover the entire region. This will allow us to track land use issues over both time and geography, matching demographic changes with land use issues. It will help both us and our partner local units of government make better decisions about how to deploy our resources. It will allow local philanthropies to better understand how they may direct their support. It will show progress and success in community revitalization efforts. We believe in this tool and we are proud to take on this responsibility here in the Saginaw Bay Watershed.
With love for our community and an open heart,
SBLC executive director