Blue Water Healthy Living
Local News

News Digest – Week of Feb. 21, 2022

DSC_7947 DSC_7947.Snowmobilers enjoy an afternoon riding through a snowy woodland along Trail No. 14 in Marquette County.

By The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

This week’s stories may reflect how the Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customer needs and protect public health and safety. Follow our COVID-19 response page for updates on access to facilities and programs.

We’ll continue to share news and information about the best ways to discover and enjoy Michigan’s natural and heritage resources! Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories:

-Photo ambassador snapshot: White-out at Warren Dunes
-Enter Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest by March 15
-Don’t miss ‘Conversations & Coffee’ with DNR fisheries staff
-Happy Little 5K/Run for the Trees registration closes March 1
-Campground/harbor fans: Help shape visitor experience as volunteer hosts
-See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

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PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of many of the images used below, and others, are available in this folder.

Photo ambassador snapshot: White-out at Warren Dunes

a start, white and gray snow-covered shoreline, with a wall of swirling dark gray clouds and hints of sunlight just behind it

Want to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Danielle Grandholm at Warren Dunes State Park in Berrien County? Visit to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the photo ambassador program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.

Enter Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest by March 15

Calling all young artists! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting entries to the 2022 Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest – a decades-long tradition in Michigan currently administered by the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw.

The contest aims to raise education and awareness of North America’s waterfowl and wetland resources. Ally Wang, age 16 of Canton, won last year’s contest with her take (shown here) on a northern pintail (male) created with acrylic paint.

Students may submit artwork featuring whistling ducks, swans, geese, brant, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails or Hawaiian ducks, though everyone is encouraged to review the full list of permitted species.

A panel of three to five judges (virtually or in person) will evaluate entries on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-inch by 1.5-inch stamp.

Here’s how judging works:

DNR-DSC_ A mallard hen leads a brood across a small pond in Marquette County.
  • Entries are judged in four grade-level groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
  • Three first-, second- and third-place entries (nine total), along with 16 honorable mentions, will be selected from each group.
  • Judges select a “best of show” from among the 12 first-place winners; those will be submitted to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and entered in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held virtually April 16. The national contest winner and the student’s parent or guardian and teacher will earn a free trip to a First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July.

First-place art from the national contest is used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp, which is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many national wildlife refuges. Proceeds support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.

Entries must be postmarked by March 15. A downloadable entry form and contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults are available on the USFWS website.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Don’t miss ‘Conversations & Coffee’ with DNR fisheries staff

If you’ve got questions about fishing in Michigan and 2022 fishing regulations, catch one of the upcoming “Conversations & Coffee” events, running March 9 through April 7. 

These events, built around regional DNR fisheries management throughout the state, cover changes to local and statewide regulations and other topics related to taking care of fisheries and aquatic natural resources on inland lakes, streams and the Great Lakes. They’re also a great opportunity to meet fisheries managers and biologists, provide feedback on regulations proposals, discuss local issues and management activities, and get specific questions answered. 

Meeting dates and times follow. Some meetings will be hosted in person; others will only be offered virtually. Visit the Conversations & Coffee webpage for detailed contact, participation and (where appropriate) location information on each event.

Meeting schedule

Central Lake Michigan Management Unit

  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9

Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit

  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 14

Northern Lake Michigan Management Unit

  • 7-8 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, March 24

Eastern Lake Superior Management Unit

  • 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 28
  • 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 4

Western Lake Superior Management Unit

  • 6-8 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, March 29
  • 6-8 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday, March 30
  • 7-9 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, March 31

Lake Erie Management Unit

  • 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29

Eastern Lake Superior and Northern Lake Huron management units

  • 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5

Lake Huron Management Unit

  • 6-7 p.m. Thursday, April 7

Questions? Contact Sierra Williams at 517-230-8788.

Happy Little 5K/Run for the Trees registration closes March 1

If you’ve been thinking about signing up for this year’s Happy Little (Virtual) 5K but keep getting distracted, here’s a reminder: The clock is ticking! Registration for this annual Bob Ross-inspired adventure that lets you walk, run or roll anywhere outdoors for a very good cause closes March 1. 

Once you’re registered, you’ll have between April 22-29, 2022, to complete it. For good measure, Earth Day and Arbor Day serve as bookends to this state parks-supporting race. 

Everyone who participates gets a keepsake Happy Little T-shirt, commemorative race bib and finisher’s medal. Registration is $34 per person, with proceeds supporting tree-planting and forest protection efforts (such as invasive plant and forest pest management and early detection surveys) in state parks and recreation areas, including locations affected by tree pests and diseases like emerald ash borer and oak wilt.

Don’t wait to get your race on! Participation is capped at 18,500 entrants. Group discounts (for parties of 10 or more) are available, too.

Questions? Contact Michelle O’Kelly at 517-881-5884.

Campground/harbor fans: Help shape visitor experience as volunteer hosts

For anyone who loves spending time in Michigan state parks and harbors, serving as a campground or harbor host just might be the perfect gig.

Right now, the DNR is accepting applications for people to serve as volunteer hosts in their favorite state parks, and some state forest campgrounds and harbors, too. Volunteer hosts enjoy waived camping or slip fees, in exchange for 30 hours of service per week, handling things like:

  • Helping people find their campsites and answering visitor questions.
  • Planning campground activities, such as coffee hours or games and crafts for kids.
  • Performing light maintenance duties.

“These volunteer positions are a great match for people who love our special outdoor places and who want to help shape the visitor experience,” said Michelle O’Kelly, fund and resource development specialist with DNR Parks and Recreation. “We have many volunteers who come back year after year, but we’re always eager to welcome new faces to the program!”

Campground and harbor host openings and applications – as well as opportunities for volunteers at the Hartwick Pines memorial building and lighthouse keepers at Tawas Point – are available at

Questions? Contact Michelle O’Kelly at 517-881-5884.

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