MUCC schedules habitat project for Haymarsh on Friday

BIG RAPIDS —  The Michigan United Conservation Clubs will be holding its annual convention this weekend in Big Rapids and will feature a special project on Friday.

Sara Tropp, MUCC Wildlife Volunteer Coordinator, said the habitat project will be at Haymarsh Lake State Game Areas at 150th Ave., south of 21 Mile Road.

The convention itself will be at the Holiday Inn, Big Rapids.

“We will be doing some habitat work, brush piles for rabbits, with a number of volunteers 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday,” local DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing said.

Tropp noted the project would be done by volunteer work in an area that has previously involved timber sales.

“The brushpiles will benefit cottontail rabbits, woodcock, whitetail deer and other small game,” Tropp said. “There’s open area that will benefit with brush piles and habitat cover.”

The five-hour work period will include lunch time. Tropp is anticipating 40 volunteers. As of earlier this week, she had 25 signed up.

“For this project in particular, they’ll come from all over,” she said. “It’s starting our annual convention. We’ll have representatives coming to volunteer from all over the state. There are some local people that have signed up as well.”

On its website, the MUCC mentioned this about Friday’s project: “Tools such as loppers, handsaws, and a few extra chainsaws will be available for volunteers to use as well as all required safety gear. Lunch will be provided by MUCC after the event and all volunteers will receive a free Wildlife Volunteer T-shirt.

“Are you able to bring a chainsaw and appropriate safety equipment (helmet, ear/eye protection, chaps, etc.)? Not required, but helpful.”