On the Ground is headed back to Kalkaska County! Will you join us in improving wildlife habitat on public land?

Volunteers plant a soft-mast producing tree in Kalkaska County in October of 2022.

Join MUCC’s On the Ground (OTG) program in partnership with Land Ethics, LLC as we plant mast-producing trees in the Traverse City Forest Management Unit in Kalkaska County. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 10am-3pm. Lunch and all necessary equipment will be provided!

We will be planting and fencing mast-producing trees that produce fruits, seeds, or nuts that act as an important source of sustenance for a wide variety of Michigan wildlife. Some common masting trees that are often maintained for wildlife habitat in Michigan include oak, crabapple, hazelnut, and serviceberry. Mast is a particularly important component of healthy wildlife habitat in fall and winter when other food sources become scarce and wildlife need to prepare for a long, cold winter. Not only will these trees provide nutrients to wildlife like deer and turkeys, but they will also serve as year-round cover and nesting habitat for a variety of wildlife like songbirds and small mammals.

A variety of soft and hard mast-producing trees will be planted in October. These trees will provide wildlife with sustenance for many years to come.

If time allows, we will also be constructing brush piles using downed limbs, logs and brush. Brush piles are an excellent addition to forest and grassland habitats because these structures are multifaceted in their benefits to wildlife. They provide small mammals with a safe place to hide from aerial predators like hawks and falcons. They also act as a good habitat for ground nesting species like rabbits and even some reptiles like the common garter snake! If constructed with limbs and branches still containing green vegetation, they can also act as a food source for browsing species like white-tailed deer.

Come out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and scenery of the Northwoods while improving wildlife habitat with fellow conservationists! Please find more details about this event and volunteer registration here:  https://mucc.org/inspire_events/mast-producing-tree-planting-and-fencing/

Contact Habitat Program and Partnerships Coordinator Kristina Kennedy at kkennedy@mucc.org with questions regarding this project or the OTG program.

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