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Students to plant trees at the Porkies

For the Gazette

ONTONAGON – Students of the Ontonagon High School Agriculture class recently gathered seeds and acorns to plant trees within the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This was a cooperative effort between the students, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and White Pine Electric (WPE) volunteers.

The project was brought up at the October meeting of the Ontonagon Area School District (OASD) School Board by Superintendent/Principal, Jim Bobula. “Our students enjoyed getting outside to partner with the Michigan DNR, Forest Service and White Pine Electric and help out on this project.”

The project involves working with the Ottawa National Forest’s local Toumi Nursery to raise the seedlings. Once ready for replanting, the oak and maple seedlings will be returned to the park.

“Eventually, they will grow to join the forest canopy of trees.” said Bob Wild, park interpreter at the Porcupine Mountains.

“We are pleased to have been able to partner with our neighboring conservationists on this exciting reforestation project,” said Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.

The project was undertaken to fulfill a commitment from WPE to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“I was excited to be able to partner with these groups and provide such a hands-on learning opportunity for the students,” said J.R. Richardson, director of environment and safety for PM Power Group, Inc., which owns and operates the White Pine power plant. “What an exciting day for all of us.”

Richardson is a member of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

“This kind of outing can instill a lifetime of interest in the outdoors, nature and conservation, as well as build a collaborative relationship with our local DNR and Forest,” Bobula concludes.

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