Get Involved this Summer – We Need You!

With the continuing decline in hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreationists, it is more important now than ever to get involved and make a difference for the natural resources locally we are blessed enough to experience every day. Luckily, Clinton County has some great opportunities for residents of all interests and skill sets to be involved in outdoor groups or clubs. These groups meet locally and would love to see new faces and ideas in their circle. All of these organizations have done great things for conservation and outdoor recreation; consider joining and make a difference in your town!

Friends of Sleepy Hollow State Park was founded in 1995 with a goal to enhance, promote, and preserve the natural resources of Sleepy Hollow State Park. This group has adopted the state park and helping with service and habitat projects year-round. They hold open meetings the first Saturday of every month at the park headquarters at 7835 Price Rd, Laingsburg, MI. For more information, check out their Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pg/FriendsOfSleepyHollowStatePark

Maple River Wildlife Association is affiliated with Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan Duck Hunter’s Association. While habitat work is focused mostly on the Maple River State Game Area, the club volunteers at events all over Michigan. Special focus is given to youth and veterans involved in hunting and conservation. Visitors are always welcome to attend meetings the first Wednesday of every month. Check out their Facebook page for more details:  www.facebook.com/pg/MapleRiverWildlifeAssociation

The Clinton/Ionia Branch of QDMA is a very involved chapter of Quality Deer Management Association, named 2009 National Branch of the Year. They are a wildlife conservation organization that is dedicated to creating white-tailed deer habitat, hunting opportunities, and preserving overall health of the population. They hold a banquet annually in the winter months (after deer season, of course!). This group offers great support on all deer related topics. To learn more, visit:  www.facebook.com/pg/clintonioniaqdma

Clinton County Ducks Unlimited works to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Some of this groups best events include a Waterfowl Spring Migration Tour held at Maple River SGA in March and their annual banquet in April. To get more involved with this group, check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/ClintonCountyMIDucksUnlimited

Friends of the Looking Glass River is a local group dedicated to the overall health of the Looking Glass watershed. Founded in 1990, the FOLG are a local, non-profit, board-based, engaged group that makes a difference locally through stream improvement projects and providing information for those interested in public access sites and recreation. There will be a public meeting on Monday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m to discuss proposals for a Park Lake Preserve that would include a non-traditional walking/water trail in Bath, MI. Please join them! Their website is:  www.lookingglassriverfriends.org

Friends of the Maple River meets bi-monthly in where they invite guest speakers to learn something new as well as talk about anything watershed related. They have a goal to promote and foster the wise use of the Maple River and it’s watershed. Annual events include: a spring clean-up day, summer “floatilla” event, and several other service days that are open to anyone. Their website is:  www.friendsofthemapleriver.org

Clinton County Pheasants Forever is a busy group that has spent countless hours and dollars on habitat improvements, land purchases, and youth education. Keeping all the money local, their annual banquet is held in March and raises money for pheasant habitat and hunting opportunities for everyone. Check out:  www.facebook.com/pg/Clinton-County-Pheasants-Forever

Originally created as the “Park Lake Improvement League” by local residents back in 1947, and continuing with that theme, “Friends of Park Lake” was formed as a non-profit in 2011. Established to promote, foster and grow public awareness of natural resources of Park Lake and it’s surrounding watershed. They strive to educate and encourage public participation in environmental stewardship in and around Bath Township’s Park Lake. This group hold quarterly meetings and would love anyone interested to join. This information and more can be found at:  www.facebook.com/friendsofparklake

National Wild Turkey Federation- Clinton County is a local group of volunteers dedicated to the education and conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of hunting heritage. Their annual banquet is held in August with various other service and education events throughout the year. Currently, the group is looking to expand their committee. They are friends who love to hunt, educate, and support wildlife and conservation. If you are interested, contact them on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NWTF-Clinton-County-Chapter

The Andy Ammann Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is part of the international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and related wildlife and to continue the hunting heritage and tradition. They are based in Lansing but work in surrounding areas like Clinton County. Their annual banquet is early April with great conversation and prizes. For more information on how to become involved: www.facebook.com/AndyAmmannChapterOfTheRuffedGrouseSociety

— Katie Hafner, NFWF Soil Conservationist