Huron Pines AmeriCorps Lends Helping Hands in Midland

Andrea Foster (l) with Little Forks Conservancy and Jennie Zoll with Huron Pines heft a timber to the construction site of a footbridge at Forestview Natural Area in Midland.

On the morning of Sept 25, 2020, a dozen Huron Pines AmeriCorps members gathered for a day of service to assist The Little Forks Conservancy after devastating flooding caused by dam failures in May destroyed trails and scattered debris throughout the conservancy’s Forestview Natural Area.

Molly Fava carries a bundle of flood debris.

“Little Forks needed the help and we were there,” said Jennie Zoll, Director of Finance and Administration. “One of our members is from Midland and was serving with Little Forks so it was nice to be able to show up and help even if it was only for one day.”

Over the course of the day, Huron Pines AmeriCorps members built a new footbridge where the old one had been torn away by the Tittabawassee River. They amassed enough tires, splintered lumber and mangled metal gathered from the forest to fill a 30-yard waste container.

In an upended year, this was one of few opportunities for Huron Pines AmeriCorps members to be together in person and work toward a common goal. This was also the first event organized by Amanda Vanaman, who was hired as Huron Pines AmeriCorps Program Manager in August.

“What our members were doing that day was not just helpful and important for Little Forks but an opportunity for us to have a shared experience,” Vanaman said. “My highlight was getting to see how much they were able to accomplish by working together.”

Huron Pines AmeriCorps Program Manager Amanda Vanaman (l) rolls a tire out of the woods with member Nick Theisen.

“I believe every generation is judged by the negative few,” said Chuck Martin, board president of The Little Forks Conservancy, as he recounted that day. “We should judge generations on how positive and powerful they are. This one is going to change the world in many positive ways, and the fact they came together to help us out is a powerful sign of that.”

This piece originally appeared in our 2020 Annual Report. Learn more about The Little Forks Conservancy at

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