Soapbox Summer 2018 - Anne Fortunato

Jul 9, 2018

Credit Amy Diebold Photography / Amy Diebold Photography

Anne Maxine Fortunato is running for the office of Pittsfield Township Park Commissioner in our upcoming primary election.  

Hi, everyone! Thanks for tuning in to Soapbox Summer here on WEMU!  My name is AnneMaxine Fortunato.  I’m a Democratic candidate running for Pittsfield Township Park Commissioner. 

Nature has always played an important part in my life.  I grew up on a farm just south of AnnArbor and have always had a strong connection with the outdoors.  Climbing trees, runningthrough cornfields, catching crayfish in the creek.  I treasure these memories.  This foundationmotivated me to earn a degree in environmental studies and political science.  Since then, I haveworked as an environmental educator and early childhood educator and in 2014, I founded alocal branch of the nonprofit organization, Hike it Baby.  I have spent countless volunteer hourswith my two kids, Neko and Levi, leading Hike it Baby hikes for families in Washtenaw County.  Sharing my love for the outdoors with the next generation continues to be one of my greatestpassions. 

Pittsfield Preserve was one of the very first places we hiked with the Hike it Baby organization.  The Old Hickory Trail off of Textile Road was where I saw babies take their first steps andwatched friendships bloom.  So when I drove past, shortly after the Washtenaw County RoadCommission began ripping down trees to pave this stretch of road, it was truly heartbreaking tome.  The trailhead was filled with port-a-potties and construction vehicles instead of familiesgetting together for a walk in the woods.  That’s when I knew I had to do something.Pittsfield Preserve is a swath of green space straddling two important watersheds to our area.It’s also home to a colony of blue herons and several threatened species.  As the populationgrows in our township, these undeveloped areas become more scarce. Habitats are fracturedand our water quality suffers.  That’s why I’m running for Pittsfield Township Park Commissioner.  I will work hard to ensure that we preserve this preserve and other green spaces for the healthand wellness of our community and for the world as a whole.  Our parks should be a reflection ofour goals of sustainability here in Washtenaw County and, currently, I do not believe it hasbeen. 

My bold, vibrant leadership style would bring an entirely new energy to the Parks Commission,where I can introduce innovative ideas to park design and promotion.  Nature and adventureplaygrounds, Adopt-a-Park Programs, and expanded multi-generational park programming arejust a few of the goals that I hope to work toward, with the help of the Pittsfield Township Parksand Recreation Department. 

My name is Anne Maxine Fortunato, running for Pittsfield Township Park Commissioner, and I look forward to your vote on Tuesday, August 7.  Thank you.