In this short video, we learn how five different organizations and well over 150 volunteers joined forces for habitat restoration on Earth Day in Leelanau County.
Initiated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, this project focused on habitat restoration at the DeYoung Natural Area and historic farm just north of Traverse City. As described by Tribal Council Secretary, Tina Frankenberger, the day’s work began with a prayer and drumming ceremony as a show of respect and appreciation for the earth, the natural resources and the volunteers.
Owned and managed by the Leelanau Conservancy, the DeYoung area has been the focus of important ecological restoration efforts. Natural Areas and Preserves Manager, Becky Hill was pleased to see so much work toward advancing the natural succession of the old farm property and efforts to stop or limit the impacts of invasive species.
Working as a Fish, Wildlife and Soil Conservationist for the GT Band, Melissa Witkowski developed the project plan and worked with the Conservation Resource Alliance and others to obtain native trees and shrubs for the site. She was thrilled to have the help of so many volunteers who planted nearly 700 trees in just one day.
A very large number of the volunteer conservation workers came from the Greenspire School of Traverse City. Naturalist and Outdoor Educator, Corey Hansen said this project fit right in with the school’s curriculum and helps to build long-remembered connections between students and the natural world.
Watch this video to see all the action and the wonderful work volunteers can do.