Volunteer at Hiawatha National Forest Greenhouse

Munising, MI – The Hiawatha National Forest greenhouse is preparing another growing season and in need of volunteers to help with our greenhouse operations. Volunteers are the heart and soul of the native plant program and essential to the successes we have had over the years. Once again it is time to begin 35,000 native plants in our greenhouses which will be transplanted during the summer at various restoration projects across the Hiawatha National Forest. Sites planned for restoration planting on the West Zone of the Forest include Sandtown near Nahma, Grand Island NRA, monarch openings on Stonington and three wildlife openings on the Munising Ranger District. The Forest greenhouses are located in Marquette, at 1030 Wright St. We start volunteer events at 10am and conclude around 3pm. For each of the following planned volunteer events at noon we have a potluck lunch.

Our first volunteer events for 2013 are planned for January 24th and February 5th. At this time we will focus on soil prep, which includes mixing soil specific for certain species of native plants and filling planting cells with the soil mix for seeding in mid-February.

Our first seeding of cells occurs February 21st. The first seeding is always an exciting time at the greenhouse with eager anticipation of the first seedlings to emerge in February. The first seeding will focus on native grasses to the Hiawatha National Forest such as beach, little bluestem and hair grasses.

March 5th we will do any reseeding or thinning of germinated plants (transplanting into their own cells) and may begin seeding some of native forbs such as Coreopsis.

March 28th we plan to seed most of our native forbs needed for restoration such as black-eyed Susan, evening primrose and bee balm.

April 18th will be our first seeding of common milkweed and important host plant for Monarch butterflies.

Interested volunteers may help for an hour or more or if you wish you can volunteer at any time at the greenhouses. We encourage people of all ages with a desire to learn and work with native plants to participate. No experience is needed as we will work right alongside you and explain various aspects of native plant propagation.

For further information please contact Deb Le Blanc at 387-2512 (extension 20) / email dleblanc01@fs.fed.us -or- Sue Rabitaille at srborealis@peoplepc.com.