The Conservation Fund is helping the City of Ann Arbor implement the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative, a voter-approved tax levy expected to generate $80 million over 30 years for the purchase of land and development rights both within and outside the city limits. We work with the Greenbelt partners to provide project management support, stewardship planning and outreach with local landowners.
A Decade of Change
In 2014 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative. In that decade, the program has protected more than 4,300 acres of active farmland and open space. We’ve also helped the Greenbelt program leverage city funds with more than $9 million in federal matching funds from the USDA Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, and an additional $11 million from landowner donations and other locally-funded land preservation programs.
Why This Project Matters
This far-reaching project will protect and link city parks, natural areas and working farms throughout the city, while curbing the growth and effects of sprawl surrounding the city. The initiative has also spawned other conservation efforts as well. In addition to the City of Ann Arbor, three out of the eight townships within the Greenbelt District have voted to protect farmland and open space inside their borders, thus allowing the jurisdictions to leverage their investment in the initiative for even greater returns, both economic and environmental.