Michigan Community Service Commission receives Government Partner Award 

MCSC receiving award

The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) received a Government Partner Award from a northern Michigan conservation organization. Huron Pines presented the award at its “Celebrating Our Great Lakes” event hosted in Gaylord recently.

Huron Pines’ mission is to protect the Great Lakes by conserving the forests, lakes and streams of Northeast Michigan.

“Huron Pines works with a wide variety of state and government funders, but MCSC is second to none. The amount of support the staff and agency provides has helped us continuously improve our program,” said Brad Jensen, executive director of Huron Pines.

The Michigan Community Service Commission administers a $402,003 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service for Huron Pines AmeriCorps program. A total of 30 AmeriCorps members serve with Huron Pines to improve at-risk ecosystems that are integral to the Great Lakes Watershed by the reduction of invasive species, protecting and restoring wildlife habitat, and increasing environmental education, communication and partnerships.  In addition to their service, AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 1,500 volunteers to serve the Great Lakes habitat.

In 2015-16, AmeriCorps members improved or restored nearly 5,000 acres of public land and 344 miles of waterways with restoration projects such as erosion control, invasive species removal and wildlife habitat improvements.

“Huron Pines has been an exemplary AmeriCorps program for many years and we are proud to help support it,” said Ginna Holmes, MCSC executive director. “What they do to preserve our state’s beautiful natural resources is remarkable.”

Huron Pines has coordinated an AmeriCorps program for 10 years, hosting more than 200 AmeriCorps members. Many members are college graduates on the pathway to employment and remain in northern Michigan communities where they serve.

“AmeriCorps members add so much value to the communities,” Jensen said. “They bring enthusiasm and commitment and make the community a better place.”