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An aerial view of a forest and river in early autumn


Our mission:

We work to enhance enjoyment of public forest lands by eliminating illegal dumping and increasing awareness of responsible disposal options.

A team of volunteers cleans up trash and discarded tires from the forest

About the program

The Adopt-a-Forest volunteer cleanup program was established to protect Michigan's forests in 1991. The program shares the importance of clean and healthy forests, improves recycling and responsible trash disposal and works to stop illegal dumping.

Led by the Department of Natural Resources, the program is a partnership of the DNR, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Michigan-based USDA Forest Service.

In the program's history, more than 2 million acres of forest land have been cleaned up, with 100,000 tires removed and tens of thousands of cubic yards of trash properly disposed of. This work is critical to protecting forest lands for future generations.

Take action

You can help keep the woods clean by reporting a dumpsite, making a donation or volunteering to clean up the forest. 


We can't do it alone! In addition to volunteer time, your donation of money and supplies are essential in making the program a success.

Make a donation

Program goals

an officer sits on a snowmobile writing on a pad

Law enforcement

Program coordinators work with law enforcement including DNR conservation officers to collect and report evidence of illegal dumping. 

Help protect forests

Cleanup safety

Safety is a top priority when conducting dump site cleanups. Learn how to properly plan a cleanup, pack the right gear, lift safely and practice environmental awareness. 

How to safely clean up a dumpsite
a woman holding up recyclable materials in front of a construction vehicle

Prevention education

Volunteers are the backbone of the program. We rely on volunteers to be our boots on the ground at cleanups and educators in the field everywhere else. 

Resources to connect people to nature
a pile of tires in the woods

Recycling and disposal

We work with industry professionals to spread awareness of legal waste disposal options. Help by working with community leaders to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

Learn how to recycle or dispose of trash


Send questions to the Clean Forests email box,, or contact Volunteer Engagement Specialist Andrea Stay, 517-582-5465.

Subscribe to Adopt a Forest email updates to receive program information, announcements, events and related news. E-news updates provided periodically.