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Northeast Michigan Communities Receive Lake Huron Forever Initiative Grant

One of two projects in northeast Michigan to be awarded with a $5,000 grant for promoting the health of the Great Lakes, the Rogers City Michigan State University extension is remodeling their sunrise side community garden.

Some elements of the garden are new rain barrels, educational signage and rain garden planting.

“There’s a lot of people involved that really cared about it, and so when we came across this grant from the Huron Pines information, we decided that we needed to go for it, and we started looking at the statistics and where the needs were, storm water runoff, looking at things like that in our communities, and decided to start the application process,” said former MSU 4-H Program Coordinator Kaelie Fessler.

Fessler is now no longer with the 4–H department in Rogers City, but is still involved with the project because of how important it is to her and the community.

“It’s still something I can work with the kids here at this garden, and also other community members,” she said.

The Sunrise Side Community Garden does not currently look the way they want it to, and with this grant money, they plan to make it a central hub. Not only that, but they want it to be ecologically educational.

“Natural resources and the whole thought process of preserving them is one of the key elements of what are plans are for this space, and especially the storm water runoff,” said Fessler. “It’s really important that we filter that water before it reaches Lake Huron and damages our ecosystem, so that’s another endeavor that we’re looking at here.”

The MSU extension was not the only organization involved in this process. Multiple organizations, such as Consumers Energy Foundation, Kiwanis, and the Presque Isle District Library all had a hand involved.

“There’s a ton of interest in looking at gardening and our natural resources, and preserving and protecting them, so I’m really excited to see all of these new people joining in on the effort,” said Fessler.

The hope is that the garden can bring new people from all over the community who have an interest in northeast Michigan’s natural resources.