OTG: Shiawassee State Game Area

On May 9, 1951 the Shiawassee River State Game Area was established. Today, the area covers 9,758 acres and is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Many recreational and hunting activities are encouraged, and there are a number of habitat restoration and wildlife enhancement projects that take place throughout the year

On Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 9am-1pm volunteers gathered near Marsh Creek at the end of Lakefield Rd. on the west side of the game area near St. Charles, Michigan for a day of felling cottonwood trees and trimming willow. These species were encroaching river banks and utilizing valuable resources necessary for higher quality species of flora such as oak trees and native grasses that provide habitat and mast for native fauna.

The seventeen volunteers worked hard as a group through the mid-morning August heat and into the afternoon. When lunch time rolled around, everyone was able to take a minute to step back and appreciate their work while enjoying camaraderie and discussions about the highly anticipated upcoming duck season. Many of the volunteers were a part of the Shiawassee Flats Citizens and Hunters Association. This organization is home to numerous individuals who spend a great deal of their personal time in the field doing hands-on work to better habitat for species in the area, and OTG was thankful for their helping hands throughout the day.

Jeremiah Heise, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist in charge of the area, led the crew out into the field to the work site.  Throughout the afternoon he worked with On The Ground to oversee volunteers and provide his expertise on the game area. Heise has been an outstanding connection and asset for OTG and we look forward to more projects with him and staff in the near future.

At the conclusion of the project, volunteers were given the opportunity to take a tour of the area and learn about ongoing habitat work and how it is relevant to different wildlife species found in the area.  It was a beautiful day to spend outside for a great cause, and OTG is thankful for every person who dedicated their time to the cause. Future projects are on the horizon in this area, including wood duck box construction and placement with SFCHA and the Michigan DNR. Details about this and future projects can be found under the “Programs” tab under “On The Ground” on our home page.

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