On the Ground (OTG) is MUCC’s volunteer wildlife habitat improvement program. Through this program, hunters, anglers, trappers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds have the opportunity to donate their time for the benefit of the species and wild places they enjoy. Since 2013, more than 3,000 volunteers have improved wildlife habitat through weekend projects like building brush piles, removing invasive trees, restoring grassland habitat through native flower and grass plantings, installing fish spawning structures, hinge-cutting trees for deer and snowshoe hare, installing wood duck boxes, regenerating aspen stands, performing river clean-ups and planting a variety of trees for wildlife food and cover.
After five months of limited field activity due to COVID-19, the OTG program will be getting the ball rolling again with a wildlife habitat improvement event in the Maple River State Game Area (SGA). Although the official date and project type have not yet been finalized, the OTG program intends to host a project in September that will improve both public access to the dikes and wildlife habitat within the SGA. All volunteers will receive a free lunch and a t-shirt for their participation. Please monitor mucc.org/on-the-ground and facebook.com/muccotg in the coming weeks for a registration link containing all project details.
We also intend to host a tree planting event in partnership with Consumers Energy at the Fulton SGA on Oct. 6. At this event, volunteers will help plant 2,500 native tree and shrub species to enhance habitat for local wildlife. The mixture of conifer and mast-producing species will provide food and cover for wildlife and benefit the ecosystem as a whole. The exact meeting location within the Fulton SGA is to be determined.
The OTG program is looking forward to returning to the field with volunteers to improve habitat for Michigan wildlife. For questions regarding the program, please email MUCC Habitat Volunteer Coordinator Makhayla LaButte at firstname.lastname@example.org.