Huron Pines teamed up with Consumers Energy Aug 19 for a day of hands-on stewardship and education at Mio Pond on the Au Sable River.
Huron Pines trained Consumers Energy employees on how to identify invasive plant species on the pond and demonstrated how to properly clean recreational equipment like kayaks and waders to prevent further spread of invasive species. Participants worked together to restore a stretch of shoreline by hand-pulling purple loosestrife plants growing in shallow water.
Together they cleared five contractor trash bags worth of purple loosestrife from the area around Camp Ten Bridge, the public fishing piers and boat launch.
“Consumers Energy has been a great partner and supporter of our conservation efforts for a decade,” said Abigail Ertel, Community Program Lead for Huron Pines. “We value these days spent in the field with their staff and these opportunities to help reinforce their commitment to protecting the natural resources of the communities we all serve.”
Since 2012, the two organizations have collaborated alongside the U.S. Forest Service and students of Oscoda Area High School on an annual garlic-mustard pull near Foote Dam. That ongoing effort helps protect and restore native habitat on Consumers Energy property bordering the Huron National Forest and the Au Sable River, while also providing employees and students with an opportunity for stewardship education and community involvement through the removal of invasive species.
In May of this year, Consumers Energy Foundation presented Huron Pines with a $200,000 Planet Award. The funding will help launch the Protect Wild Places program, empowering Michigan communities to support land and water conservation by partnering with Huron Pines to restore 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat and recreational land, and 150 miles of waterways and Great Lakes shoreline.
“Our volunteers really enjoy learning about habitat conservation and soaking up the expertise from our friends at Huron Pines,” said Adam Monroe, Executive Director of Hydro Generation for Consumers Energy and one of five employees volunteering that day. “We’re impressed by Huron Pine’s plans to protect Michigan’s precious resources. Gaining from their knowledge also helps us in our work to serve our Michigan customers and have a positive impact on the planet.”
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy and provides natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. 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 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed over $20 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation visit http://www.ConsumersEnergy.com/Foundation.
Huron Pines is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1973 to conserve and enhance Northern Michigan’s natural resources to ensure healthy water, protected places and vibrant communities. With offices in Gaylord and Alpena, Huron Pines strives to improve economic, environmental, educational and recreational opportunities throughout Northern Michigan. To learn more, visit huronpines.org.