OTG Volunteers Needed: Brush Pile Building in Kalkaska County

A volunteer helps build a large brush pile in 2023. This event was part of Mark Kenyon’s Working for Wildlife

Are you someone who enjoys the outdoors and wants to improve Michigan’s public lands? We have a great opportunity for you! On the Ground will be at the Traverse City Forest Management Unit in Kalkaska County on Saturday, April 27, 2024, from 10 AM – 3 PM constructing brush piles for wildlife. You are not required to stay for the entire duration of the project. All ages are welcome to attend. For more details and to register, click HERE. We hope to see you there!

About the Project

During this event, we will be moving large logs and branches so closed-toed boots, a long-sleeve shirt, and long pants are recommended. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle, although snacks and water will be provided throughout the day. This event will take place rain or shine except in the case of severe weather so please plan and dress accordingly. All registered volunteers will receive lunch and a free volunteer appreciation gift for their efforts.

Brush Pile Overview

Brush piles are important because they provide habitat for small game such as rabbits, as well as other animals like squirrels, snakes, and ground-nesting birds. We like to say brush piles provide “rabbitat” because cottontail rabbits use the brush piles frequently for habitat. A well-constructed brush pile can withstand the elements very well and it gives wildlife great cover because they are able to hide underneath all of the logs and sticks. Brush piles are commonly placed near a forest on field edges to give these small animals a chance to hide from predators. Common predators that use brush piles for hunting grounds include foxes and various birds of prey. Brush piles are beneficial for the entire ecosystem because they are used by a variety of species, thus ensuring that a balanced environment is maintained.

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