National Volunteer Week runs from April 18 through April 24 this year. It is a week designated to acknowledge all of the work accomplished by volunteers and to thank them for their hard work and dedication.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ (MUCC) On the Ground (OTG) wildlife habitat improvement program would like to thank the more than 3,100 volunteers that have joined us across Michigan since 2013. Thanks to these passionate wildlife volunteers, the OTG program has improved more than 3,000 acres of public land through 157 habitat projects. Together, OTG volunteers have contributed 14,784 hours to wildlife habitat improvement and restoration in Michigan. This impressive impact would not have been achieved without the dedication of volunteers in every region of the state, and it is our hope that these numbers will continue to grow over the coming years.

Volunteerism is one of the most selfless acts one can partake in, and the OTG program seems to consistently bring out the best individuals. As the OTG program coordinator, I have yet to meet an individual at one of these events who hasn’t rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the task at hand. Whether we are planting native trees and shrubs, building wildlife brush piles, clearing access trails or removing invasive flora, OTG volunteers have never failed to impress me with the time and effort they give to the wildlife and public lands they love.

What’s even more rewarding than the habitat work that gets completed at OTG events is the sense of community that is felt among volunteers. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, backgrounds and interests are often seen helping each other, sharing their knowledge of diverse outdoor and ecological topics and growing in their understanding of habitat management techniques. Even when there is uncertainty or strife in the conservation community, a habitat day with fellow outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen is a strong reminder that our natural resources are in very good hands.

You can celebrate National Volunteer Week with the OTG program. Join OTG and the Robert J. Lytle Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society on Saturday, April 24 as we plant and tube 200 oak trees within the Minden City State Game Area. These hard mast-producing trees will benefit a variety of wildlife such as ruffed grouse, wild turkey and white-tailed deer.  Learn more and register for this event HERE

 

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