MIDLAND – Moosejaw, a popular outdoor retailer headquartered in Madison Heights heard about the flooding that heavily impacted the Little Forks Conservancy’s office building and its preserves including properties in Tobacco, Sage, Butman, Sherman, Billings and Grout townships in Gladwin County. After meeting with Andrea Foster, director of programs and partnerships, Moosejaw took matters into their own hands and made a touching and heartfelt donation of new and gently used outdoor gear to help rebuild some of the lost programming supplies.

With the help of Moosejaw, Midland’s ACE Hardware, and individual donors from across the nation, Little Forks Conservancy’s staff created backpack day-trip kits to aid in new and innovative virtual programming. The backpacks will allow students to participate and learn skills such as birdwatching, nature journaling, and identification of native trees and wildflowers. The packs are filled with the items and educational materials needed to have hands-on experiences while being taught those skills virtually in real-time by Foster. 

“I cannot thank enough the companies like Moosejaw, Midland ACE Hardware and Little Forks Outfitters, the individuals who have so kindly donated during impossibly hard times, and our local community partners that have stepped up and shown us that they care,” said Foster. “The outpouring of concern and offers of assistance from so many have helped give the staff and board at Little Forks Conservancy a renewed sense of strength and resilience. We cannot wait to pour that hope back into the community as folks get out and use our trails, enjoy the beauty of our preserves, and soak up the gifts that Michigan has given us during these times of stress and uncertainty. The mental and physical health benefits that the outdoors provide are being learned by whole new generations and families as they venture out and discover it for themselves. That is exactly the outcome we strive for.” 

The Little Forks Conservancy works to permanently protect and improve natural environments in Mid-Michigan by leading and inspiring actions that conserve vital habitats and waterways for the benefit of our entire community. The Conservancy has helped private landowners protect nearly 4,000 acres in Mid-Michigan, including over 19 miles of waterways and shoreline. To learn more about the Little Forks Conservancy or to help fund the rebuilding process, visit www.littleforks.org.

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