Aligning with Partners
2021 KIDS COUNT IN MICHIGAN
Kids Count in Michigan, led by Michigan League for Public Policy, is part of a broad national effort to measure the well-being of children at the state and local levels, and use that information to shape efforts to improve the lives of children. The data book has been released annually since 2003.
ANALYZING GAPS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES AND FUNDING IN KENT COUNTY
First Steps Kent published an updated early childhood gap analysis in November 2017. It provides a scan of the capacity of the early childhood landscape in Kent County to identify where gaps in services and funding exist.
CHILD CARE: A CRITICAL NEED IN MICHIGAN
In partnership with Think Babies Michigan, Michigan League for Public Policy released a report in March 2021 on the state of child care in Michigan and by county. Child care in Michigan continues to be a critical need. High costs and low availability persist throughout the state, with families with low and middling incomes having the fewest options for care.
DATA DASHBOARD AND WORKPLAN
KConnect led a collaborative effort to identify eight success measures spanning the prenatal to career continuum as well as 27 indicators or critical levers of change. This is outlined in the workplan and local metrics are tracked, disaggregated and shared on the data dashboard.
GRAND RAPIDS AND KENT COUNTY ECE STUDY
IFF, with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, conducted an analysis of early childhood education (ECE) provider data from March 2020 and March 2021. It looked at provider capacity and the service gap for all children ages 0 to 5 across Kent County. This is an update to the initial assessment completed in 2018.
2020 PROTECTED LANDS SURVEY
Heart of the Lakes, the statewide association of Michigan’s land conservancies and other nonprofits dedicated to land and water conservation, regularly surveys its members to track land conservancies’ successes by the suite of unique protection tools they use: acquisition of nature preserves or conservation easements, assists or transfers of lands to local governments or the state, or management or stewardship of lands held by others. The last survey was conducted in 2017.
HOW’S MY WATERWAY?
Created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), How’s My Waterway was designed to provide the general public with information about the condition of their local waters based on data that states, federal, tribal, local agencies and others have provided to EPA.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TRAILS PLAN 2022-2032
In November 2021, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its 2022-2032 trails plan. The plan, which was built around the concept of "explore, connect, sustain," provides a framework for the DNR’s management of more than 13,400 miles of state-designated motorized and nonmotorized trails and pathways.
GRAND RAPIDS/KENT COUNTY HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT
On behalf of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Housing Next engaged Bowen Research to evaluate the housing needs of the City of Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan and to recommend priorities and strategies to address such housing needs. The report was released in May 2020.
NORTHWEST MICHIGAN TARGET MARKET ANALYSIS
The Northwest Michigan Target Market Analysis (TMA), conducted by market analyst LandUse USA and coordinated by Networks Northwest and Housing North, shows the potential demand for new units in each county, city, and village in Northwest Lower Michigan through 2024. It was completed in 2019 with forecasts for the year 2020. It is an update to the initial analysis that was completed in 2014.
ALICE IN MICHIGAN: A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP STUDY
ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, comprises households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living for the state (the ALICE Threshold). This work began as a study by the United Way of Northern New Jersey more than ten years ago and has since grown to 23 states. The Michigan report has been updated and released every two to three years since 2014.
WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL PLACE?
The Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a cross-disciplinary non-profit dedicated to placemaking, evaluated thousands of public spaces around the world and found that to be successful, they generally share the following four qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit. PPS developed The Place Diagram linked below as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad.