On the Ground Volunteer Highlight: Valerie Knurr

Meet Valerie Knurr, career outdoors woman and brand new On the Ground (OTG) volunteer! Valerie participated in her first OTG project last weekend in the Shingleton Forest Management Unit in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Making the trek all the way from Northern Wisconsin, we knew we had to give her a shout-out!

OTG volunteer Valerie Knurr helps measure and cut fence to be placed around newly-planted trees in the Shingleton Forest Management Unit.

Valerie earned a degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 and has been working in the field of natural resources ever since. As a Trails Technician for the U.S. Forest Service, she gets to spend a lot of time outdoors. “Getting involved in habitat restoration as a volunteer was a great way to scratch my wildlife habitat itch!” Valerie noted.

One great way to get involved in conservation, she continued, is to take advantage of volunteer events during your travels. Are you planning a weekend camping trip in a new area? Connect with a local conservation organization and volunteer on a new piece of public land that you haven’t explored yet! It’s a great way to meet new people and enjoy the many beautiful natural areas that our great state has to offer.

A variety of tree species were planted during the stewardship work day including red oak, apple, and mountain ash.

“My favorite part about volunteering to improve public land habitat is knowing that the work I did will help wildlife for many years to come,” Valerie said. “I also enjoyed feeling the satisfaction of helping finish a big project and I liked meeting other people who were excited to be doing the same thing.”

On Saturday, August 26, 2023, Valerie took to the field on the Garden Peninsula along with 19 other volunteers to plant and fence 130 mast-producing trees including oak, apple, and ash trees. “It was a great experience working all morning with other like-minded people and sharing a delicious meal after we finished planting all the trees,” she concluded.

Thank you, Valerie, for your volunteer stewardship with the OTG program! We greatly appreciate your dedication to improving Michigan’s public land habitat.

Would you like to be our next volunteer steward? Visit mucc.org/on-the-ground/ to register for upcoming projects!

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