Last Wednesday, September 16, the MUCC field team met at the Rose Lake State Game Area (SGA) to launch the On the Ground (OTG) program after a six-month hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. This was a simple but impactful event that gave staff the opportunity to get outdoors and get the OTG program rolling again. In an effort to improve local wildlife habitat, staff removed and treated invasive honeysuckle that was overtaking the understory of the forest and preventing native tree species from establishing. The invasive honeysuckle was removed using loppers and hand saws within a 24-acre forest stand.

The OTG program is happy to be back out in the field improving wildlife habitat on public land, and we invite interested volunteers to join us at one of the following events we have coming up during the month of October. As with all OTG events, snacks and water will be provided and all volunteers will receive a free OTG t-shirt.

Native Tree Planting at Fulton State Game Area – Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  REGISTER HERE

Help us plant 2,500 trees at the Fulton State Game Area! Funded by a grant from Consumers Energy, these trees will improve habitat for a variety of wildlife within the state game area. Meet and park on S 44th Street along the west side of the Fulton State Game Area. There are two fields located there that we will be planting the trees in. Google Maps coordinates 42°05’18.5″N 85°19’58.1″W.

Native Wildflower Planting at Petersburg State Game Area – Saturday, October 10, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Volunteer limit has been reached, registration closed)

Volunteers are needed to help plant the native wildflower blazing star within the Peterburg SGA, which is a host plant for the state imperiled blazing star borer moth and a plant species that benefits both pollinators other diverse wildlife.  Exact location coordinates will be updated prior to the event and sent to all registered volunteers.

Please note: Due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19, this event has been limited to 16 people. If the maximum number of attendees has been reached, you will be unable to register. Should this occur, we thank you for your interest in participating and look forward to returning to the Petersburg SGA for future wildlife habitat improvement events. Please follow mucc.org/on-the-ground or facebook.com/muccotg to stay updated about program events and information.

Native Tree Planting in Kalkaska – Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. REGISTER HERE

Join us as we plant native trees in Kalkaska near Johnson Lake this fall. Volunteers are needed to help plant, mulch and fence 90 mature soft mast-producing trees to enhance habitat for wildlife. These fruit trees will benefit a variety of wildlife that include ruffed grouse, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and countless other game and non-game species. Volunteers will meet at 1089 Wildwood Shores Drive, Kalkaska, MI 49646 at 9 a.m., and after registration and introductions are completed we will travel as a group to the nearby project site. Granola bars and water will be available to all volunteers while in the field planting trees, and brats and hamburgers will be served at the end of the event.

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