An Open Letter From Matthew Grocoff to Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners

"Veridian @ County Farm is a platform to stoke our capacities for collaboration, creativity and compassion."

Learn more about Veridian @ County Farm

December 1, 2016

To the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners re Proposal for Platt Road @ County Farm Park:

In these extraordinary times we live on hope‘s edge.

As a community, Washtenaw County and the City of Ann Arbor have articulated our goals for addressing: affordable housing, clean energy and water, threatening climate impacts, floodwater mitigation, mobility, habitat loss and other critical public challenges.  

We have unwavering hope. But we are failing to meet our goals. In fact, on many metrics we are losing ground. If we are serious about the criticality of this moment, then we must work together for creative, fresh and flexible solutions.  We cannot afford the status quo.

The standard development model is deeply flawed.  We subsidize developers by allowing them to avoid the cost of their negative impacts.  As a community we pay the price for formulaic development when it pollutes our air and water, degrades our social systems and mental health, increases carbon emissions, and weakens local ecosystems. 

We will be defined not by the unsparing consequences of climate change, but by how we respond to them as our window of opportunity for action closes.

Veridian @ County Farm is an act of optimism.  It is more than a sustainable neighborhood.  It is a platform to stoke our capacities for collaboration, creativity and compassion.  We wish to demonstrate how forward-thinking local governments can engage their own citizens, private and non-profit, to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems and achieve public goals more effectively.

We are grateful for the opportunity to propose Veridian as a mutually beneficial path to success for all stakeholders through unprecedented collaboration, partnership and imagination. 

Thank you for your leadership.

Matthew Grocoff, THRIVE Collaborative on behalf of Veridian @ County Farm