The month of November when the weather cools down and the work outside slows down we take a breath and reflect on what we accomplished this year and the years prior. This November is a big deal for Little Forks Conservancy as we celebrate 25 years as an organization. Staff wanted to share with you what they appreciate most about Little Forks.
This January I will be entering my fifth year at Little Forks Conservancy. I am most grateful for the organizations participation in the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, without that program I would not be where I am today. During my 10 months of service, I was able to demonstrate my abilities and grow professionally which gave me a great advantage when a full time position was created. In addition, continuing to work alongside AmeriCorps members helping to create the next generation of conservationist.
Secondly I am grateful for the community connections nourished by Little Forks Conservancy. The role we get to play connecting organizations and people to make projects and passions come to fruition. Whether that is a large scale habitat project in the watershed or an eagle scout project at a natural area.
Lastly, I am grateful for the volunteers that take interest in helping Little Forks with citizen science efforts, controlling invasive species and keeping the watershed clean.
The one thing I am most grateful for is all the people who have played a part in Little Forks Conservancy over the years. It all started out with a handful of forward-thinking community members who were inspired to find a way to protect our local rivers and streams. This inspiration led to the creation of Little Forks. Our founding board members helped guide me early in my career to turn their vision into on the ground conservation.
I am grateful for the many community members whose financial support both large and small has helped us carry out our work. These contributions helped pave the way for successful projects including the acquisition of Riverview Natural Area, creating a universally accessible trail at the Averill Preserve, supporting community programing, or helping to improve the lands we manage.
I am also grateful for the many landowners that we have worked together with to protect rivers, forests, fields, farmland, and wetlands. Their actions will have a lasting impact in our community for current and future generations.
Our work would not be possible without our amazing staff and board members past to present. They have gone above and beyond to help Little Forks succeed. The many faces that have led programs, built community connections, improved habitat, and promoted our work far and wide. I am grateful for their hard work and dedication in carrying out our mission.
Lastly, I am immensely grateful to live in a community that cares about conservation and working together to improve the quality of life for all. I am not just grateful today, but all days that I spend working to protect, improve, lead, and inspire.
Volunteers can make or break an event and having reliable fun volunteers that come back each time really improves the whole dynamic. The stream sampling of the Cedar started in Fall 2015 with 23 volunteers and has continued with an average of 30 volunteers involved at each event from a mixture of Midland and Gladwin County. It is a joyous moment seeing the teams come back from sampling with laughter and good conversation as they enjoy a lunch talking about the day or something that was brought up while at the sampling site.
Sara Huetteman Preserve and Volunteer Manager says "Greg is one of those volunteers the brings a positive experience to his group, making conversation with everyone attending. Outside of stream sampling Greg represents Little Forks by telling other people about our properties and the work we do. He attends workshops and other activities we plan on the Cedar River such as the Cedar River Clean Up."
Greg Allington has been in the Cedar River collecting macroinvertebrates since 2016. This year Greg will be nominated to MiCorps, the statewide program for stream sampling, for 5 years of volunteering with our program. We reached out to Greg to get his thoughts on volunteering with us. Take it away Greg!
I volunteer for the Little Forks’ stream sampling on the Cedar River because it’s an easy and fun way to do citizen science in my backyard. I have a cabin on Pratt Lake in the Cedar River Watershed, and also live and work down river near the Saginaw River. I love to explore the wonderful rivers and streams we have here in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. We are very lucky to have so many places to hike, kayak, and fish. Many of these places we wouldn’t have without the efforts of Little Forks, along with the help of their partners and volunteers. I feel lucky to be able to help out. The best memories I have with Little Forks is meeting and working with some amazing people around the area. I am constantly inspired and excited to discover inspirational landowners conserving and protecting their land and waters for wildlife and people to enjoy. Most of all I live to discover new places to explore, hike, and be an amateur biologist again.
Over Twenty five years ago a group of 12 motived members of the Midland community decided protecting our waterways was essential to the community and there was a need for a new organization, a land conservancy, to focus on protecting the Tittabawassee river watershed. On November 25th 1996, Little Forks Conservancy filed official articles of incorporation. In these 25 years, Little Forks has protected almost 4000 acres in the watershed through 33 conservation easements, opened 875 acres across 7 natural areas and been a resource for the community on conservation practices.
Artists, designers, lovers of nature! We are asking YOU to come up with a shirt design in honor of our 25th Anniversary. Submit your design to email@example.com by 5pm on February 1st, 2022 and our board of directors, committee members and staff will take a vote on which shirt best fits our organization. The winner will receive a free shirt with their design and a gift card. The winning shirt will then be sold on Bonfire where members of the community can purchase.
Mission Statement - The Little Forks Conservancy permanently protects and improves natural environments in mid-Michigan by leading and inspiring actions that conserve vital habitats and waterways for the benefit of our entire community.