Huron Pines Receives $20k Grant from Consumers Energy Foundation to Support Student Stewardship

Conservation nonprofit Huron Pines is pleased to announce it has received a $20,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to support place-based environmental stewardship programs for K-12 students.

Place-based stewardship education involves learning through hands-on experiences that support the environment and community where a student lives. These efforts provide students with the knowledge and skills to become active stewards who can engage in natural resource protection and restoration.

The funding provided by the Consumers Energy Foundation will allow Huron Pines to work with  four schools across the region and host two teacher trainings to support school efforts to implement place-based stewardship initiatives in the classroom. Examples of potential place-based stewardship education projects include school forest management, river monitoring and rain garden installation. Huron Pines is currently working with Gaylord and Alcona schools and is looking to partner with more schools in the region. They will be hosting the first of the two teacher trainings in Grayling this summer with a focus on connecting forest health with water quality. 

Huron Pines Environmental Education Coordinator Emily Vogelgesang explained, “The purpose of this project is to address the challenges and opportunities facing natural resources in our region by developing environmental stewards. It also connects students to education and career opportunities available in their own communities.”

“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources, and protecting our land, water and air for future generations to continue to enjoy,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are pleased to support Huron Pines in its efforts to preserve Northern Michigan’s natural beauty, but also to provide an invaluable hands-on educational experience to students and teachers in our public schools.”

Consumers Energy Community Affairs Managers Rich Castle (left) and Timothy Petrosky (right) present a check for $20,000 to Huron Pines Executive Director Brad Jensen to support environmental stewardship programs for K-12 students in the region.

Huron Pines is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1973 to protect, restore and conserve Michigan’s natural resources. Our work across Northeast Michigan’s forests, lakes and streams improves economic, environmental, educational and recreational opportunities in communities throughout our region. We know that healthy water, protected places and vibrant communities make this region special. Preserving and protecting those elements is what drives us.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit

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