On the Ground Launches Virtual State Game Area Clean-Up

In an effort to encourage safe outdoor recreation and the continued stewardship of our public lands, the OTG program is hosting a virtual state game area clean-up beginning Thursday, April 2, 2020. 

Getting Involved 

The goal of this initiative is to encourage those who are out recreating during this social distancing period to improve their public land and leave it better than when they found it. We are asking those visiting their local state game areas or wildlife viewing/management areas to get involved by picking up any trash or litter they observe and remove it from the area. Additionally, participants are encouraged to download the free Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) app and report any invasive species they see during their time outdoors. New users need only create a free account to record sightings of invasive flora they observe so that it can be managed properly by wildlife professionals when normal operations are reinstated.

This is a simple way for outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen to continue to give back to their public land amid the many volunteer event cancellations. It’s also a great way to enjoy Michigan’s public lands while social distancing.

Rules and Guidelines

  • When picking up trash, wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and collect trash in garbage bags.
  • Do not pick up sharp or potentially dangerous materials like broken glass, needles or other suspicious materials.
  • Do not leave collected trash and litter in the parking lots or in piles along the road–if you collect it, you must remove the materials yourself and dispose of them. Currently, no DNR Wildlife Division staff are able to visit each state game area to pick up any garbage bags left behind from your clean-up efforts.
  • Do not attempt to remove any vegetation on your own. Enter it into the MISIN app and wildlife professionals will manage it when normal operations resume.
  • If, at any time, Michigan state game areas or wildlife viewing areas are closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns, this initiative will be terminated and no new entries/participants will be accepted.

All state and federal social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 restrictions are to be followed during participation. Please review the DNR guidelines below, and check the DNR’s COVID-19 Information Page to ensure you are permitted to visit the local state game area or wildlife viewing area in your area. There are currently no known closures of state game areas or wildlife viewing areas, but this can change and we encourage you to verify before you go. 

  • Go out only if you’re feeling healthy.
  • Long-distance travel is discouraged unless it is essential.
  • Individuals must maintain a minimum of 6 feet between themselves and the people of other households. Anyone not following the social-distancing requirement may face misdemeanor violation/arrest penalties, including up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If those aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When driving, keep windows slightly open to provide airflow. Do not drive with people who don’t live in your household.
  • If the parking is full when attempting to visit a park, recreation area, boating access site or trailhead, leave and choose a different location.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

How to Enter to Win a $50 Cabela’s Gift Card

  • Take a photo (or multiple) of your state game area/wildlife viewing area clean-up efforts.
  • Like the OTG Facebook page.
  • Share your photos and a brief explanation of why you participated and what state game area/wildlife viewing area you improved to the OTG Facebook page or via email to MUCC Habitat Volunteer Coordinator Makhayla LaButte at mlabutte@mucc.org.
  • Two winners will be randomly drawn on May 1, 2020. Winners will be announced via email and the OTG Facebook page (date TBD).
  • Each winner will receive a $50 Cabela’s gift card.

Enjoy recreating safely! Please contact MUCC Habitat Volunteer Coordinator Makhayla LaButte at mlabutte@mucc.org with any questions regarding this initiative.

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