On the Ground: Volunteers helped deFENd unique habitat at Gourdneck State Game Area

On Saturday, September 9, 2023, 26 On the Ground 21 volunteers gathered at Gourdneck State Game Area in Kalamazoo County to remove woody invasives from a unique prairie fen habitat.

In total, 2 acres of public land were improved by the removal of woody invasives like glossy buckthorn, autumn olive, and honeysuckle. Volunteers split up into two groups to tackle this project: one team in the wetlands and one team in the dryer upland area. DNR biologists treated cut stumps with herbicide to prevent future regrowth in an effort to allow native vegetation the opportunity to regenerate. Rare Michigan species such as massasauga rattlesnakes and eastern box turtles will greatly benefit from the hard work of these volunteer stewards.

Thank you to our partners at the Michigan DNR and Portage Parks and Recreation for co-hosting another successful habitat project on public land! A special thank you to our volunteers for all of their hard work and dedication to habitat conservation.

Volunteers removing glossy buckthorn saplings.

Our next OTG project will take place in Otsego County in the Pigeon River Country State Forest where we’ll be planting trees in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Michigan DNR. Check out the OTG webpage at mucc.org/on-the-ground/ for upcoming events and volunteer registration.

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