Volunteer for Public Land Deer, Bear Habitat by Planting Oaks in the Upper Peninsula

OTG planting tree

Plant some trees for wildlife with #OTG!

So here’s the situation: one of the Upper Peninsula’s best wildlife food-producing trees, beech, is dying fast from beech bark disease. This means that beech nuts, a valuable wildlife food source, will be disappearing in the coming decades.

We have two choices: let this happen or do something about it. Luckily, the DNR is already on top of it and is planting red oak trees across the U.P. so that acorns can replace the lost beech nuts on the menus of white-tailed deer, black bears, ruffed grouse, ducks, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks and blue jays, just to name a few. And on May 31 and June 1, we’re going to help them.

As part of the On the Ground program to improve wildlife habitat through volunteer projects, we’re organizing two consecutive days of oak planting in the Upper Peninsula. On Saturday, May 31, we’re planting red oaks near Shingleton, and on Sunday, June 1, we’re planting them near the AuTrain State Wildlife Refuge in an area of public land open to hunting.

Both locations are near campgrounds, and not too far from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The planting projects will begin at 8:00am ET in the morning, and should last until about noon, followed by a cookout. That means you’ll have the afternoon for touring the lakeshore, fishing on a nearby lake or river, hiking or other outdoor activities. It makes a great weekend trip for those coming from the Lower Peninsula, too, who stay for both events and camp overnight. It will be like a weekend getaway – but one that does some good work for Michigan’s wildlife!

Sign up for May 31 at Shingleton here and for June 1 near the AuTrain State Wildlife Refuge here, where you can also find additional information on meeting locations and a map of the area. As with all On the Ground habitat projects, volunteers get a free one-year membership to MUCC with a digital subscription to Michigan OutofDoors Magazine, an awesome t-shirt and a delicious lunch. Email Drew YoungeDyke, MUCC Grassroots Manager at dyoungedyke@mucc.org with questions or call (517) 346-6486.

On the Ground (OTG) is a partnership between Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to build a conservation community through volunteer fish and wildlife habitat projects.

OTG won Outdoor Life’s Open Country award in 2014 and is funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, Consumers Energy Foundation, Enbridge Energy Partners, Healing Our Waters, and the Community Reinvestment Fund, which is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Sustainable Communities program to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as part of the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability and is administered by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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