When grasslands die, forests can live on
— The last thing you want to do is destroy a pristine piece of land to build a road.
But if a group of activists and government officials are to be believed, a few of those trees might soon be cut down to make way for a massive development in a region that is home to a diverse mix of wildlife.
The project is called The Roadway to Eden and the goal is to build roads that would link the remote and remote-sited forest of Michigan with the surrounding area.
The state has a growing population of wildflowers, including some that thrive in the woods and others that prefer warmer climates.
The roadway is being developed by a coalition of private investors, the U.S. Forest Service, the city of Ann Arbor and several local governments, including the city and the city’s mayor.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said the plan will not only save trees but also will help restore a once-proud landscape.
The goal is that, by building a road that connects a forested area with a suburban area, it can help the city attract more businesses and jobs.
“If you take out the trees, it’s going to create a void,” said Michael J. Miller, a spokesman for the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Resources.
The city’s planning board approved the plan on Wednesday and the public is invited to weigh in on its merits.
The roadway would stretch along Michigan’s east side, between the city limits and the Detroit River, connecting the Ann Arbor neighborhood of South Park and the Annapolis, a suburb of Annapolis.
The plans call for the road to be paved and have landscaping.
In the future, Miller said, the roadway could connect the city to Ann Arbor’s downtown, with offices, restaurants, schools and other buildings.
The plan would also connect the road with the planned Ann Arbor Regional Transit Authority, which would have access to the region’s freight and bus terminals, Miller added.
Miller also said the road would connect Ann Arbor with the Detroit metro area.
According to the plan, the project will be financed by the city, state and federal governments.
The federal government will pay the full cost of the road, while the state will pay a portion.
The Michigan Department for Environmental Quality will pay for the remaining portion, which will be shared with the city.
Miller said the goal was to create something that would help the region attract more jobs and tourism.
The group has been working with local communities and businesses for years to develop and plan for the development, Miller and Michael W. Brown, a state forestry official, said.
The development has drawn criticism from environmental groups who say it will harm wildlife.
Officials with the U