Monroe County Opportunity Program partnered with RRI, Monroe Conservation District, and Kelly Salchow-MacArthur, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Michigan State University to complete the Fresh Opportunity Green Map in 2019, a project funded by Community Foundation of Monroe County.
The Fresh Opportunity Green Map identifies 84 locations for fresh, local, healthy food for the under-served in Monroe County including: 5 Fresh Opportunity Markets, 21 food closets, 4 community gardens, 28 farms and farm markets, and 26 grocery stores selling local foods. The map includes information on where to locate God Works! Family Soup Kitchen where serves free dinners at 6 pm each night and Summer Feed Programs which serves free lunches for youth 18 years old and under.
Kelly designed an icon for year-round and seasonal food availability as well as an icon to identify food deserts. According to the Lexicon of Food, a food desert is an area where there is limited access to affordable fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, legumes and other food that constitute a healthy diet. Six food desert locations are indicated on the Fresh Opportunity Green Map. Residents in these areas are more than one mile from a full-service grocery store in urban areas and more than 10 miles in rural areas.
In 2017, River Raisin Institute began the Resilient Monroe Green Map project with funding from the Monroe County Health Department. The project goals included providing a map of sustainable resources and locally sourced, healthy food options, engaging citizens in identifying local resources to help them live a more sustainable lifestyle and providing students with the opportunity to explore their hometown and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Designed by Kelly Salchow-MacArthur, the Resilient Monroe Green Map identified fresh, local food resources in three municipalities in Monroe County: the City of Monroe, Frenchtown Township and Monroe Township. Information on recycling and composting, creating habitats for pollinators and safe fish eating guidelines was also included on the map. Another outcome of the project was an interactive passport booklet which is a sketch book for drawing your own green map using a sampling of Green Map icons.
Green Map is an online international mapping resource that started in 1995. It is in over 950 communities in 65 countries. Green mapping engages communities in mapping green living, nature and culture.