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MDARD Celebrates Stewardship Week with Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD)

For immediate release: April 26, 2021
Media contact: Jessy Sielski, 517-331-1151
Program contact: John Switzer, 517-284-5606

LANSING, MI - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), in partnership with the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD), is celebrating Stewardship Week, April 25 - May 2, a nationwide program led by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) that recognizes the importance of natural resource conservation. This year's theme is "Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities."

"Michigan's 20.3 million acres of forests contribute significantly toward the values and quality-of-life shared by its residents," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "Roughly nine million acres are owned by individuals and families. MDARD works with these landowners to manage their land sustainably through the Forestry Assistance Program and Qualified Forest Program, which are carried out by the 75 Conservation Districts in Michigan. This week we recognize that forests are critical not only for supplying timber products, but also for providing wildlife habitat, filtering air, cleaning water, preventing soil erosion, sequestering carbon, reducing energy costs, and providing recreation, sightseeing, and tourism opportunities."

Throughout the week, MDARD will partner with MACD to highlight the importance of forests in Michigan.

"Stewardship Week provides an educational opportunity for people to learn about our vast forest history," said MACD Executive Director Dan Moilanen. "Our forests have played a critical role in the development of our cities, towns, infrastructure, and economy. It also has a significant impact on our soils, water quality, and wildlife habitat. This year's theme also falls incongruence with Arbor Day on April 30. Make sure you plant a tree in your community."

During the week, MDARD and MACD will share forest tips on their social media pages, and they will feature a "Fresh from the Field" podcast with Alcona and Iosco Conservation Districts Forester and "Tree Guy" Eric Brandon. Listen to the podcast.

To participate in the week, visit your local conservation district webpage or visit NACD's resource page.

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