My social media feeds are filling up with photos of successful Canada goose and teal opener hunts from all over Michigan’s Lower peninsula; a beautiful sight! While the early season opened yesterday, On the Ground focused on keeping the rabbit population thriving and dwindling down invasive autumn olive at Forestview Natural Area in Midland, MI. Volunteers cut autumn olive along the riverbank of the 70 acre parcel and used it to build large brush piles for rabbitat.
As we hiked in to the property, single file, there were three or four different conversations going on; one of my favorite things about volunteer events is making connections and hearing about their interests. We spooked a doe and her fawn, catching all of our attention, “Well that alone makes this all worth it” Glenn spoke to break the silence. It’s nice to see that people have an appreciation for nature and wildlife from many different aspects, yet will work together towards one goal-conservation.
Among seven volunteers, we were fortunate to have two employees from DOW Chemical of Midland volunteer their time with OTG to help out. Volunteers Keith Brooks and Chris Lonsway are both avid hunters here in Michigan. DOW Chemical is one of few companies that will sponsor their employees to volunteer service hours; thank you for volunteering for wildlife! This project was possible largely by the support from a grant with Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.
Volunteers removed enough autumn olive to top 5 large brush piles. I’m looking forward to checking on the use of these brush piles this winter. This area has an open forest floor that will benefit from having these brush piles to provide cover for small game. Three dedicated volunteers with Little Forks Land Conservancy joined us to daub the autumn olive stumps with herbicide. This will ensure that it doesn’t come back next year!
This week you can find OTG along with Deer Michigan at the Hunting Film Tour in Ann Arbor September 2nd and in Grand Rapids September 3rd; don’t miss out on this fun premier event and be sure to stop by to chat with us! I’ll be there promoting our upcoming OTG events: Nayanquing Point Frog-bit Pull on September 10th, Allegan State Game Area Coastal Marsh clearing on September 26th, and keep updated with our website for rabbitat events in Sharonville State Game Area and Crane Pond State Game Area!!