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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

     Anne Woiwode

1 OCT 98
CONTACT:  Robert Clancy, 517-241-2055


LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is
looking for volunteers to hand collect native prairie grass seed at
several State Parks, Recreation Areas and State Game Areas across
southern lower Michigan.  Seed from big bluestem, little bluestem,
switchgrass, and Indian grass will be used to restore and create native

A portion of the prairie grass seed collected will be used to restore
native prairie ecosystems in various State Parks and State Game Areas.
Some seed will be donated to the Natural Resources Conservation
Service.  The DNR is cooperating with the Natural Resources
Conservation Service, the Michigan Association of Conservation
Districts (MACD) and the U. S. EPA to establish commercial sources
for native Michigan prairie grasses.

Prior to European settlement, southern Michigan supported vast
expanses of prairie and oak savanna.  Today prairie ecosystems persist
only in small remnant patches, many in State Parks and State Game
Areas.  Seed collection is a key step in restoring these lost landscapes,
but it is one that requires many hands.  The simple and ancient
technique of seed collecting is a unique opportunity to experience an
old tradition of many cultures and a chance to do something positive
for the natural resources of our state.  "This a great opportunity to
spend a few hours in some very rare and beautiful grasslands, while
significantly helping to restore them," said Ray Fahlsing, State Park
Stewardship Program Manager.  "Seed collecting is wonderful
experience for the whole family and a lot of fun."  No experience is
necessary.  The work is appropriate for school age children and adults.

Volunteer workdays are scheduled throughout October and early
November at the following areas:  Algonac State Park, Bay City
Recreation Area, Fort Custer Recreation Area, Grand Mere State Park,
Port Crescent State Park, Pinckney Recreation Area, Allegan State
Game Area, Barry State Game Area, St. Clair Flats Wildlife Area,
Shiawassee River State Game Area.

For more information including dates and times, please call Robert
Clancy 517-241-2055.


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