Rural scenic resources are being lost at an alarming rate across the country. Development on the edge of every city, large and small, is turning America's rural character into parking lots and franchise developments. The resulting "Anywhere USA" creates a homogenized visual image across the landscape everywhere.
I-69 Recreational Heritage Route stretches along over 80 miles of Interstate 69 in Michigan from the Indiana border north through Branch and Calhoun counties. The I-69 Recreation Heritage Route passes by historic towns, working farms, woodlands, spectacular scenery, wildlife habitat, campgrounds, trails, lakes, and streams.
The people of Branch and Calhoun counties wanted a different future for the landscape along I-69. In 2000, they partnered with the Michigan Department of Transportation and created a Scenic Corridor Management plan for the 80-mile stretch of highway and the surrounding landscape. Today, the organization has the challenge of balancing human development with preservation open spaces that provide residents and travelers a place of beauty, history and the room to breath.