Checking in on our AmeriCorps Member

Only 38 days left of my service term with Huron Pines AmeriCorps as MUCC’s Engagement Specialist. MUCC never fails to keep me involved, as I have been to six events over the last 14 days. I was as far north as Gratiot/Saginaw county to the Ohio border at Lake Hudson. Here is a recap of what I have been up to.

Ottawa County Field Day

Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, Morgan Jennings (formally known as Morgan Warda) and I, attended a field day training in Ottawa County on Thursday, Sep 5. This training was geared towards agriculture produces, presenting on better ways to manage and read the land. Morgan was invited to share how Cooperatives can help farmers when it comes to managing for wildlife on their land. We provided outreach materials for the 150+ people in attendance at MUCC’s vendor booth and we were able to network with the locals. Throughout the day we listen to several knowledgeable presenters, who taught us about: soil health, true no-till practices, cost-effective management decisions, climate change and how it affects farming, indicator weeds and much more.

The OTW Lake Lansing Project & The OTG Grat-Sag SGA Project

OTG was at Grat-Sag State Game Area on Friday, Sept 6. The dike within the game area was at risk of flooding due to the lack of water flow. The vegetation along the dike was thick. For a total of 16 volunteer hours, we had impacted 40 acres of public land by freeing up the dike system. The next day, OTW hosted an event at Lake Lansing. The park manager informed, Emma Nehan that the park is constantly cleaning up after guests and their trash. The OTW program brought in 10 local volunteers, who gave back to their community by cleaning up 150 pounds of trash. I am honored to be involved in such programs and always enjoy seeing the impact it creates.

Pheasants Forever Youth Jamboree

Youth hunting seasons are here! Pheasants Forever hosted an outreach event at the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area, to get the kids excited for the hunting season. There were vendors from all over, booths with snakes & puppies, to booths with pellet-gun ranges. At our booth, we wanted to teach the kids about several different species of ducks and how to identify them. There were 575 kids in attendance. This event was a great way to get kids and families outside and excited about hunting and the great outdoors.

MSU Career fair

Max Bass, Michigan Out Of Doors Youth Camp Director, asked if I wanted to join the MUCC job fair booth at MSU. Knowing that the AmeriCorps program is recruiting for 2020, I knew that it would be a good time to push the program to graduating seniors. The hospitality at MSU was amazing (Go Green!) and the number of students that were among attendance was astounding. Max and I stuck out with the fur pelt on the display table, but it grabbed about 25 students’ attention. We left with fewer flyers and more resumes in our hands.

BHA & QDMA Field to Fork Training

Josh Hillyard, with the Quality Deer Management Association, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be a mentor with the field to fork program, a collaboration with Back Country Hunters & Anglers. I said, heck yes! This program is geared towards adults who have not hunted deer and show interest in doing so. I could go on and on about how impactful this program and organizations are, but for the sake of this blog, I will save that for another time. Each adult must go through training before they hunt and Monday night was that very training at non-other than MUCC’s MOOD Youth Camp. We taught them the ethics of hunting, deer biology, how to shoot a crossbow and more.

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