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Volunteer for Wildlife Habitat with On the Ground Projects

February 6th, 2014

The Outdoor Life award-winning On the Ground program is kicking off its second year of volunteer fish and wildlife habitat projects where it started its first: building rabbitat at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area. On the Ground is a public-private partnership between Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to build a statewide conservation community through volunteer fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects.

The first project for the On the Ground program was building brush piles for rabbit habitat – “rabbitat” – at the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area. This year, volunteers will meet again at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area on February 22 to do a similar project in a different section of the game area, removing and making brush piles out of non-native trees to promote the growth of crabapple trees, which provide food for deer, turkeys and other game.

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Volunteers build rabbitat at Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area. Photo by Dave Kenyon, Michigan DNR

The next day, volunteers will do another rabbitat project at Sharonville State Game Area. Members of the Christian Service Brigade from the First Presbyterian Church in Trenton will be travelling to help out, and might even have time for some small game hunting when they finish. This project will pile red and scotch pine, and autumn olive, to open canopies for oak trees, which provide acorn mast for deer, turkeys and small game.

Rabbitat moves southwest on March 1, when volunteers will build brush piles at Fulton State Game Area, where volunteer rabbitat projects are actually written as part of the area’s management plan!

On March 2, in partnership with the Boundary Waters Musky Club and the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, volunteers will gather at the south end boat ramp on Chicagan Lake to build and place musky structures on the ice, where they’ll fall into place after the ice melts to provide musky habitat.

If you’re interested in volunteering for any of these projects, please email Drew YoungeDyke, MUCC grassroots manager, at dyoungedyke@mucc.org or by calling (517) 346-6486. Volunteers will get a free t-shirt, a digital subscription to Michigan OutofDoors Magazine, a delicious lunch and a well-earned sense of accomplishment. On the Ground is supported by grants from the Consumers Energy Foundation, Enbridge Energy Partners and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

 

 

 

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