MRWA Receives GLRI Tree Planting Grant

Organization: Muskegon River Watershed Assembly
CONTACT: Marty Holtgren PHD
(231) 591-2334 or email;

MRWA Receives Major Funding

In January of this year the United States Forest Service awarded a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) reforestation grant to plant 882 native trees to the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA).

Focused on reducing non-point source runoff while restoring the historic tree canopy depleted during the lumbering era, this grant represents the single largest project of its kind we have undertaken and aligns perfectly with our stated mission of “protecting and restoring the Muskegon River Watershed”

As water moves naturally through the soil, it picks up pollutants in the form of trash, nutrients and waste from humans and animals. Non-point source runoff refers to water, which enters the river by way of drainage and seepage rather than directly from a storm drain or industrial discharge.

Trees act as a filtering mechanism by absorbing moisture from the soil, removing pollutants and releasing clean water. Without trees, the water runs, unfiltered, off paved or impervious surfaces or through seepage from saturated soil into the river.

As an added benefit, reforestation restores the historic tree canopy that once shaded and cooled the Muskegon River. Cool water is necessary to support an abundance of diverse fish species.

In all we will plant 882 mature trees in specific locations based on two strategic criteria:

• Areas where there is significant runoff due to lack of vegetation
• Areas of high visibility in the community in order to provide pleasing aesthetics for residents

The project will also include public outreach and education that addresses climate change and best management practices through signage placed at the planting sites and volunteer activities.

On a project of this scope, capable partners are essential and we are fortunate to include the Cities of Evart and Newaygo, Mecosta and Newaygo County Parks, Bridgeton Township and West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC).

Marty Holtgren
Executive Director
Muskegon River Watershed Assembly