Many, many things impact the economic viability of a community. We all know that an educated and available workforce, sufficient energy and technology, transportation systems and the like are a large part of the picture. We sometimes forget, however, that an aesthetically pleasing environment, a welcoming atmosphere, and a community that appears to take pride in itself are also part of the mix.

Imagine yourself getting off the plane at MBS and coming into Midland for the first time. What are your impressions? Is it a place to which you are immediately attracted? Would your first impression entice you to locate your new business here?

Once you are in the community, do you prefer to shop at a "big box" surrounded by acres of blacktop, or do you prefer landscaping and shade and an architecturally interesting venue?

In 1999/2000, the Midland Area Community Foundation led the Midland Visioning Project with funding support from the following foundations:

The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation

The Herbert & Junia Doan Foundation

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

The Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation

The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation

The Dow Chemical Company Foundation

The Dow Corning Foundation

The Alden & Vada Dow Family Foundation

This countywide initiative was an effort to solicit from Midland County citizens their feelings about the county's assets, needs, and their vision for the county ten years hence. One of the most common criticisms was that the entrances into the City of Midland were not welcoming - that there was no sense of arrival or sense of place.

Based on this information, the Entranceways Initiative Task Force (EITF) was developed in 2001. It is made up of citizens, city planners, business leaders and foundation members who joined together with the central mission of improving the appearance and function of the entranceways into the City of Midland.

Projects completed:

  • Park n' Ride (Wackerly Rd.)
  • Eastman Ave overpass - medallions, uplighting and terraced landscape beds
  • "Grand Curve Pathway" - recreational pathway along Business US10 connected to Rail Trail
  • M20 Entrance - terraced landscaping and Midland sign seen when entering Midland from the West
  • Wayfinding - attractive signage to assist visitors and residents with locating our many retail, cultural and historic sites.