It’s typical to find the policy-shapers of the Michigan Environmental Council testifying before state and local legislators. This year they’re trying something new -- getting to know people over a cocktail and talking over important issues for the state at the same time.
The Michigan Environmental Council’s #ForwardDrinking event comes to Kalamazoo Feb. 3 and the topic will be how a healthy food system is essential to promote the well-being of residents and the economic vitality of a region. The free event begins at 6 p.m. at the Olde Peninsula Brewpub
, 200 W. Michigan Ave.
This is the third #ForwardDrinking event. In Marquette, the importance of a community that is bikeable and walkable was discussed. And in Lansing the significance of a thriving downtown was the topic.
In Southwest Michigan, with it many busy farmers markets, a location in the heart of Michigan’s farmland and a growing interest in urban farms and backyard gardens, the topic of local food is one Kalamazoo area residents are talking about.
"The idea is to have an informal conversation about a topic that is important in the community," says Andrew McGlashen, of the Michigan Environmental Council.
The discussion is intended to give those who attend a sense that they better understand the discussion topic -- in this case the importance of local food -- and are able to take action to improve their community.
The event also is an opportunity for people to meet others who may be working on the same issues they are, who may have new, creative ideas that will help them move forward with projects, or may have some wild idea they've never even heard of.
The nonprofit Michigan Environmental Council is a coalition of more than 70 organizations created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement and achieve positive change through the political process. It promotes public policies to ensure that Michigan families will enjoy clear waters, clean beaches, beautiful landscapes and healthy communities for years to come.
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave
Source: Andrew McGlashen, Michigan Environmental Council