Last week at the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area (SGA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs(MUCC) launched the On the Ground(OTG) virtual SGA Clean-up initiative. This initiative is meant to encourage folks to still be stewards of their public land as MUCC’s usual spring schedule of OTG events have been canceled as a result of COVID-19.
This week, the MUCC On the Water (OTW) program also launched its own remote program, the Virtual Invasive Species Bingo Game, in which folks can be rewarded for getting outside and learning more about identifying invasive plant species.
As folks are having to alter their normal outdoor recreation activities, to respect guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, MUCC’s field team has come up with these great ways to still connect with nature and recreate responsibly. To learn more about the SGA Cleanup and Invasive Species Bingo initiatives just follow the links.
Wednesday was my favorite day in April. I was able to enjoy some sunshine and participate in both of these initiatives at my local SGA. In three hours, I was able to remove three bags of trash and two bags of recyclable plastic, glass and aluminum, from different access points within the Rose Lake State Game Area. I did not have as much luck with locating invasive species but it was a great way to get outside while adhering to all recommended guidelines.
I went out by myself, I did not interact with anyone from outside my household, and on my car ride home I could not help but think about how lucky I am to be able to engage with my public lands in this way. These times are making a lot of people anxious, and right now, many things are different from how they were only weeks ago. Taking some time to connect with nature and engage with my public land was a wonderful way to spend the day.
Even though our calendars have changed, MUCC’s field team is still active and still trying it’s very best to serve our mission of uniting citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.