Huron Pines, who’s mission it is to conserve the forests, lakes and streams of Northern Michigan, would like to say “Thank you” to the Roscommon County Community Foundation (RCCF), and to those of you that donate to the Roscommon County General Fund, for providing the funding needed to support the “Adopt-A-Forest Program” in Roscommon County.
With RCCF’s support, and in coordination with the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program and the Department of Natural Resources & Environment, we were able to clean-up nearly 30 small illegal dump sites in the county. We hosted 7 clean-up days, removed 125 cubic yards of trash, 1,100 pounds of metal, and 60 tires, utilizing 44 volunteer participants who provided 220 hours of service. In particular, the Village of Roscommon, Home Depot and area students went above and beyond the call of duty. Ada Takacs, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Volunteer Coordinator for the program, noted, “The number of known illegal dumpsites is now under 1,000 statewide for the first time in 5 years.”
As most anyone who has spent time on public lands here in Michigan knows, the dumping of illegal trash on our natural heritage is a real problem. Unfortunately, the actions of a few people who choose to dump their waste onto public land affect us all. The type of waste commonly dumped includes sofas, chairs, old carpet, shingles, old charcoal grills, used car and truck parts, toilets, sinks, clothes, household trash, paneling, flooring, empty oil and water containers, and more, including the occasional boat.
In summer of 2009, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member Dan Schultz contacted the Michigan Coalition for Clean Forests to see how he could help. While the state could help with disposal, hands were needed to get out there and haul out the trash. Schultz then began making calls to pull community partners together and recruit volunteers. He contacted schools, businesses, nonprofit groups and government agencies to pitch in. He also petitioned the RCCF to assist with Grant funding required to dispose of the debris.
Schultz was truly amazed by the community support, “It’s one thing to talk about supporting your community; it’s another to actually go out and do it, especially when the work is dirty, hard, smelly and at times disgusting. The effort this community gave was simply outstanding.”
Again, we say “Thank You” to the Community Foundation and the many volunteers that have assisted us to make a difference in the quality of our forests, lakes and streams of Northern Michigan.
To learn how you can make a difference, visit www.cleanforests.org. To learn more about Huron Pines and the AmeriCorps program, please visit www.huronpines.org.