Gov. Rick Snyder's point man on the administration's vibrant cities initiative knows there's not a lot of spare money to invest in recreation and green space in Michigan cities.
But Rodney Stokes, the former leader of the state's Department of Natural Resources, sees a growing desire to expand urban trails, reclaim riverfronts for recreational use and offer outdoor activities. He's helped do that in Detroit, and sees potential elsewhere.
This month, he's planning meetings in Grand Rapids, and then will reach out in Lansing, Saginaw and other cities later.
He wants to see how existing state grants, private partnerships and other work can help build on efforts to improve Michigan cities. He'll also continue to encourage people to think beyond their communities' borders to make the most of those resources.