When we connect students to hands-on environmental stewardship we are supporting the future of conservation in Michigan. Today’s students will become tomorrow’s community leaders, industry executives and policy makers responsible for ensuring the long-term sustainability of Michigan’s natural resources. By working together with students, educators, community partners and the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative network, we can improve the health of our forests, lakes and streams.
Through place-based education experiences students are able to engage in hands-on learning that connects them to the places they live and play. They are also able to learn about new career opportunities, see measurable community impact and contribute to data collection and field research.
Here are some examples of our work
- Each spring and fall Huron Pines and our partners at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Network, Michigan Sea Grant and Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area lead Au Gres Sims students in hands-on field research—monitoring and collecting data on invasive and threatened plant species on Big Charity Island, part of Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
- In 2017, Huron Pines began piloting a program with Vanderbilt Area School and the Michigan DNR to develop a forest management plan that would turn the Vanderbilt school forest into a space for learning and recreation. The pilot led to trail-building, the inception of an outdoor classroom and a new goal of helping every school district in our region to incorporate a school forest management plan into their curriculum.
- As our stormwater assessments and action plans move along the Northern Lake Huron coast, we continue to engage with local schools to incorporate stormwater education and rain garden projects into the classroom.