Since social distancing orders were announced in March, the field team at Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) has been actively working to encourage Michiganders to continue to enjoy the outdoors while also following public health recommendations surrounding COVID-19. To accomplish this and to fill the gap left by our postponed field season, the field team has implemented multiple initiatives for Michiganders to get outdoors, enjoy and improve their public lands and take pride in their state while keeping themselves and others safe.

In April, both the On the Ground (OTG) and On the Water (OTW) programs launched virtual programs to get people outdoors and learning and caring for their public lands. Spanning the month of April, the OTG program hosted a Public Land Clean-Up Challenge that gave individuals and families the opportunity to give back to their local public lands by removing litter while recreating outdoors and practicing social distancing. State game areas, state forests, Grouse Enhanced Management Sites, access sites, wildlife management areas and wildlife viewing areas all benefited from the stewardship efforts of Michiganders over the course of this initiative. Early in May, two participants from the challenge were randomly drawn to receive a $50 Cabela’s gift card. We would like to thank all those who participated in the OTG Public Land Clean-Up Challenge. Visit the MUCC OTG Facebook page to stay up to date about the OTG program.

Through mid-April and mid-May, the OTW program hosted a Virtual Mi Invasive Species Bingo Game that gave people the chance to practice their invasive species identification skills and explore their local natural areas. This unique way of engaging outdoor enthusiasts was recognized on multiple news and social media outlets, and 10 winners were awarded OTW swag bags for their successful participation.

Currently, the MUCC field programs have united to host the MUCC Responsible Recreation Photo Contest. Running from May 8 through May 18, the goal of this contest is to continue to encourage Michiganders to enjoy their public lands while also practicing social distancing. All you need to do to enter is to capture a photo while you’re out recreating responsibly and post it to Facebook or Instagram with the caption #MUCCresponsiblerecreation by May 18. Two winners will be chosen by the MUCC field team once the contest closes and each winner will receive a $25 Meijer gift card and a one-year subscription to Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine. No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, we want to see your best photos! Click HERE for more information.

 

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