CRA staff planted extra seedlings from the distribution at stream restoration sites, as pictured here where Skinner Road meets the North Branch of the Platte River.

Even as the world faces a global health crisis, one thing is for certain – Michiganders care about saving Mother Earth. This dedication was on full display at CRA’s Wild Roots seedling distribution, where approximately 50 participants helped to plant more than 20,000 trees and shrubs across the state.

Sure, the event looked a little different this year. Our staff wore masks and gloves and brought the trees directly to people’s vehicles. And while we didn’t host our annual Members’ Seedling Give-A-Way this year, the opportunity allowed us to individually plant 3,000 native trees and shrubs at restoration sites, including the Boardman River, Syers Creek, the Betsie River’s floodplain and Mason Creek, the Maple River, and three sites on the North Branch of the Platte River. We’d like to send a special thanks to all of our loyal members – these plantings wouldn’t be possible without your support!

While CRA’s work continues to focus on restoring northern Michigan’s streams, rivers will always have a need for trees. Plants help to stabilize streambanks, filter pollutants, and keep waters cool. We carefully select native species that provide food and shelter for wild animals, and with every tree that’s planted – new seed stock promotes future growth.

The program has not only been successful in improving forest biodiversity but has allowed us to strengthen collaboration with our regional partners. Among this year’s participants include the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the City of Traverse City, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, Norte, and Crystal Mountain – valuable partnerships that will help to improve private and public lands for all to enjoy.

We’d like to send a big thank you to our Wild Roots sponsors for making this program possible – Consumers Energy Foundation, U.S. Forest Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, USDA Forest Service Huron-Manistee National Forest, and ITC. This spring, we received a $200,000 grant through the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – a big boost for the program, which put a healthy dose of fuel in our tank to keep planting trees into the future. Thank you all for another great year, and we are looking forward (for many reasons) to 2021!

If you’d like to learn more about Wild Roots, subscribe to our mailing list or contact us at To show your support for northern Michigan’s forests and streams, follow this link and become a CRA member today!