Tomorrow, MUCC’s Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program will be partnering with Lansing’s GRAND Learning Network to complete a rabbitat project at the Rose Lake State Game Area during their annual orientation day. There will be 25 teachers attending the orientation from schools in the Greater Lansing area. While this event will be conducted with adults, the focus will be on future opportunities in the area for the OTG Jr program. The group of teachers will have the opportunity to see first-hand what their students will do at an OTG Jr event. They will be starting the day off with a habitat project, then breaking for lunch followed by an afternoon archery session or another outdoor recreation activity. There will be other agenda items for the GRAND Learning Network orientation for the teachers as well.
This promising new partnership holds a large potential for getting students of all ages involved in wildlife conservation and habitat management practices. “The GRAND Learning Network is a stewardship initiative that uses place-based education to give youth, teachers, and communities in Mid-Michigan tremendous opportunities to learn and grow in their appreciation of our locale. Our core group of teacher leaders will help us create change in local schools by providing professional development opportunities for other teachers and community volunteers from the headwaters region of the Grand River and Great Lakes watershed.” Project areas for OTG Jr would include the Rose Lake SGA, Maple River SGA, Dansville SGA, Gratiot-Saginaw SGA, Windsor Township SGA, and a few other public land areas.
There have been three OTG Jr projects completed this year as a trial run for the program. Projects were completed installing wood duck boxes at the Fish Point Wildlife Area, Planting trees at the Betsie GEMS in the Traverse City State Forest, and removing invasive plants at the Bay City State Recreation Area. A total of 50 students participated in the OTG Jr program over the three events this far. The students’ efforts of improving wildlife habitat will benefit the areas whitetail deer, cottontail rabbits, turkey, black bear, grouse, woodcock, and several other species. Aside from hard work, the students also got to enjoy an outdoor recreation activity in the afternoon including fishing and archery.
Coming Up Next with OTG:
MUCC's On The Ground Program is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division