DNR News: Inland lakes convention, urban forestry grants, September public meetings

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News Digest - Week of Aug. 24, 2020

urban forest

Trees clean the air and beautify streets; urban and community forestry grants help make it happen.

Some of the items in this week's news digest reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is adapting to meet customers' needs. Public health and safety are our biggest priorities, and we will continue to share news and information about the safest, and sometimes new, ways to enjoy our state's natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on facilities and reopening dates. For the latest public health guidelines and news, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder. The laptop photo below courtesy of Lauren Mancke via Unsplash.

Register for virtual Michigan Inland Lakes Convention, Sept. 16-18


Registration for this year’s Michigan Inland Lakes Convention – taking place virtually Sept. 16-18 – is open through Sept. 11.

“The virtual setting is a safe way to enable participation from all who are interested in learning about the inland lakes of Michigan, whether you’re a vacationer, resident or professional,” said Joe Nohner, inland lakes resource analyst for the DNR. “We even have some individuals joining us from the international community.”

With the theme “Conserving Lakes in a Changing Environment,” this year’s convention offers three days of presentations and workshops featuring Michigan’s inland lakes, as well as networking opportunities for students. It includes presentations on citizen science, water law, harmful algal blooms, plant and fish identification, aquatic invasive species, climate change, communications, high water levels, fisheries management, watershed conservation, natural shorelines and many other topics. The full convention program is available online.

Two keynote speakers will kick off the meeting. Dr. Robert Thorson, author of “The Guide to Walden Pond” and University of Connecticut professor, will present on how the origins of Michigan’s inland lakes affect lake management. Michigan State University professor Dr. Kendra Spence Cheruvelil will share advances in lake science using data from almost half a million lakes across the United States.

The convention also will include a photo contest, a writing contest and a trivia game open to all attendees, with fun, lake-related prizes for the winners.

Registration cost for all three days, greatly reduced relative to a face-to-face event, is $30, $15 for convention speakers and free for students. Register for the convention.

The convention is a cooperative effort between the many organizations that make up the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership, which promotes collaboration between locals, professionals, researchers and agencies to advance stewardship of Michigan’s inland lakes.

Questions? Contact Joe Nohner (DNR) at 517-599-6825 or Julia Kirkwood (EGLE) at 269-312-2760.

Upcoming virtual DNR public meetings

virtual meeting

Every month, the DNR holds public meetings around the state to provide Michigan residents with opportunities to share ideas and ask questions about policy decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resources management and outdoor recreation.

With COVID-19 public health and safety in mind, upcoming meetings have been changed to virtual meetings or conference calls. Upcoming meetings include:

ICYMI: Grant funding available for urban forestry projects

urban forest fall

Michigan communities have an opportunity to help people connect to forests in towns and cities through grants from the DNR's Urban and Community Forestry program. 

“These grants support management, education, planting and awareness of community forests,” said program coordinator Kevin Sayers.

A total of up to $100,000 in federal grant funding is available. Applicants may request up to $20,000 in reimbursable, matching grant funds, based on project type. A one-to-one match is required and can be nonfederal cash and/or in-kind services.

Eligible applicants include local units of government, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, tribal governments and other public entities located in Michigan. Applications are due by Sept. 30, 2020, and projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2021.

Download a grant application and find more information at Michigan.gov/UCF.

Questions? Contact Kevin Sayers, 517-284-5898.


Champing at the bit to get some horseback riding in? Check out our interactive equestrian map for equestrian-friendly trails and campgrounds. 


Buying a state park and harbor eGift card is a great way to support the places you love. You can use them to make reservations and buy items at DNR concessions.


No matter how you choose to engage with the outdoors, keep an eye out for invasive species. You can report sightings and learn more on the Michigan invasive species page

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

Census 2020 - Be Counted