Two more wildlife habitat improvement projects will be completed in different regions of the state by the end of this week. Tomorrow, we will be teaming up with the Reese High School Out-of-Doors Club to maintain wood duck nesting boxes in the Fish Pointe Wildlife Area. Then, on Saturday, we will be teaming up with the Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops local to the Gourdneck State Game Area to complete Brandon Thomas’ Eagle Scout Project. Brandon has recruited up to 50 volunteers to plant a total of 1,100 trees in a wildlife opening in the Gourdneck State Game Area. The native trees for this event were donated by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF); thank you for your support!
Tomorrow’s project will be included as the first of a new expansion of the On the Ground program this year in coordination with MUCC’s Education Director, Shaun McKeon. What is currently being referred to as “OTG Jr” aims to include K-12 schools and take classrooms of students on public lands to complete a habitat program. The purpose is to involve them in habitat restoration to support wildlife in our state and to get them to understand the connection between habitat health and the wildlife that depends on it. There are a few other pilot projects in the works for this spring and later this fall as well. Tomorrow, the Reese High School Out-of-Doors Club will be focusing on maintaining wood duck boxes by cleaning out the current nesting material and replacing it with fresh material as well as hanging some new boxes.
On Saturday, another Eagle Scout Project will take place in the Gourdneck State Game Area. Just a few months ago, Tyler Sands’ successfully completed his Eagle Scout Project in the area building brush piles for rabbitat. He even went back to the site towards the end of small game season and successfully harvested two rabbits from the piles! That is a prime example of a hunter-conservationist reward. This weekend’s Eagle Scout Project is being coordinated by Brandon Thomas and will be hosted at the same site, but will involve planting 1,100 confer type trees to provide thermal cover in the area for deer, turkey, and small game. Mark Mills, the areas DNR Wildlife Biologist, acquired 500 Norway spruce and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) donated 300 white spruce and 300 white cedar trees to be planted.
Coming up next week, we will be completing yet another OTG Jr project on Wednesday, April 19th with the Grand Traverse Academy 6th Grade in the Betsie GEMS area just north of Thompsonville. The group will be planting trees and shrubs in the area to enhance grouse and turkey habitat followed by a fun archery activity! Then, on Saturday, April 22nd, we will be planting trees in the Crane Pond State Game Area to provide browse for deer, turkey, and small game-see more details and RSVP to volunteer here. Keep updated with future wildlife habitat improvement projects at www.mucc.org/ontheground
MUCC’s On The Ground Program is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division