A family plants an oak tree within the Minden City State Game Area on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Last Saturday, April 24, Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ (MUCC) On the Ground (OTG) program partnered with the Robert J. Lytle Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to plant and tube 200 red and bur oak trees within the Minden City State Game Area (SGA). These trees were generously donated by the Cargill Company out of St. Clair.

Oaks are hard mast-producing trees (they produce a fruit), and thus benefit a wide variety of wildlife as they mature and begin to bear acorns. These trees also provide cover and nesting opportunities for many bird species and squirrels, and their acorns are enjoyed by wildlife like ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer and wild turkey.

The volunteer turnout for this event was very impressive, with 56 volunteers joining us to get the trees planted and shelters placed securely around them. Many families attended this event, and youth were able to learn first-hand about conservation from their parents and the conservation organizations that were present. Also present were many local conservationists that utilize the state game area for a variety of recreational interests, including hunting, birding and foraging. Due to the high volunteer attendance and the valuable prep work completed by members of the Robert J. Lytle Chapter of RGS the day before, volunteers were able to plant and tube all 200 oak trees within one hour of starting the planting.

A wildlife habitat improvement sign greets visitors in the parking lot of the Minden City State Game Area.

We would also like to recognize members from the Harbor Beach Conservation Club and Wild Card Outdoor Adventures that attended, as well as the Minden City Herald for not only covering the event but also for volunteering with us. A large thank you to any other clubs and organizations that attended and helped promote this event that we are not aware of.

This event was an excellent example of the power that comes from partnerships in conservation, and we look forward to returning to the Thumb region for future habitat improvement events. Thank you to all of the attendees for volunteering for Michigan’s public lands and wildlife.

To learn more about MUCC’s On the Ground program, please visit mucc.org/on-the-ground or facebook.com/muccotg.

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