58 years of conserving Marquette County

Members of the Marquette County Conservation District gathered at Marquette Mountain for the 58th Annual Natural Resources Celebration tonight.

Every year, the Conservation District takes a moment to thank all the local organizations that play an integral role in conserving and restoring Marquette County’s natural resources.

Their volunteers and staff accomplished a lot over the course of the past year. They helped eradicate countless garlic mustard plants, which are becoming one of the most invasive species in the Upper Midwest. They lent a hand to MQT Growth to erect a hoop house outside of Marquette Alternative High School, allowing the community to grow crops nine months out of the year. And, they bolstered the efforts of Michigan State University Extension in setting up Agri-Palooza for kids in Alger and Marquette Counties.

“Year round, we have activities. Conservation and environmental education programs through the Marquette County Conservation District,” said Cameron Fuess, Chairman of the MCCD. “We’re always looking for volunteers. There’s limitless work to be done out there, within the county, in the field of conservation and environmental education. We take all the help we can get. We have a lot of programs that require volunteers, and we have many programs that need as many volunteers as there are that want to participate. There’s always room for everybody. We welcome and encourage all the help we can get.”

The keynote speaker of the night spent 25 years as Michigan’s Game Warden, teaching a generation of hunters proper wildlife practices. Now that he’s retired, he’s taking his passion a step further.

“I had the best job in the world. You’re outdoors all the time. What people do on weekends, you get to do all week,” remarked John A. Walker, a retired Game Warden. “I wanted to give something back. I had been writing a newspaper article telling stories, so I wrote a book and put some of the stories in there. It took off like crazy. I’ve written nine books. We’ve raised about $80,000 to $90,000 for our scholarship fund through our church in Manistique. We help kids going to Christian colleges because State colleges have a lot of scholarships. Christian colleges don’t.”

John and his wife are just one of the many examples of selflessness exemplified by the organization. If you want to help out, you can contact them at www.marquettecd.org.